As an artist, scholar, teacher, and creative visioner, Kelli is committed to helping people tell powerful, transformational stories and guiding organizations in aligning their practices with their values.
Trained as an academic with a specialization in contemporary drama, Kelli (she/her/hers) has spent the last decade in academic institutions and nonprofit theaters developing artist-driven programming for playwrights, creative writers, actors, and dramaturgs, while also acquiring experience in fundraising, literary management, new play dramaturgy, and event planning and execution. She digs loud music, deep thinking, and working in found spaces.
Kelli has taught courses on playwriting, contemporary drama, dramaturgy, and theater for social change at the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Virginia, and has directed theater and supervised artist-apprentices in theater direction, dramaturgy, and production management. She currently works as a fundraiser and grants manager at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia and teaches at the University of Delaware. She's also proud to serve on the board of New Light Theatre.
She has directed with, produced work by, or dramaturged for Bree Luck, Julie Hamberg, Marianne Kubik, Jeremy Duncan Pape, Betsy Rudelich Tucker, Ray Nedzel, and Lisa Devine, and enjoyed the mentorship of Sandy Robbins and other members of the University of Delaware's Resident Ensemble Players. Kelli has also worked for the American High School Theatre Festival/International Collegiate Festival supporting high schools and colleges as they bring their productions to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. She was a past co-convenor of the Ecology & Performance Working Group of the American Society for Theater Research and co-directors the yearly flash play festival at the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts (with Carrie J. Cole).
Kelli is available for freelance directing and dramaturgy projects. See "Projects" to learn more about her practice.
I unequivocally support We See You, White American Theater's demand for substantive changes in the ways we make theater to address the practices of systemic racism that historically and currently shape our industry. I also believe that programming committees and literary departments who select the content of artistic seasons have a responsibility to select projects that tell a multitude of stories; to foster dialogue and progress, we must commit to telling stories that are richly intersectional. Theater and art provide a means to elevate the conversation, engage in utopian dreaming, cultivate solidarity with the many lives and experiences of those with whom we share this planet.
Freelance Theater Director + Dramaturg
I've been directing theater for over fifteen years; everything from development readings to youth musicals, contemporary plays to complex site-specific devised works. I am especially keen to work collaboratively on large-scale performance events and environmental pieces (the more giant puppets and dramatic lighting, the better).
An expert in modern and contemporary global drama, I can also serve your institution by managing season programming, conducting research on new plays and playwrights, serving as a production dramaturg, and organizing community engagement initiatives.