Courtney Erin Colligan

  • PhD Student

Courtney is a third-year Ph.D. student at in Theatre and Performance Studies and the current Graduate Teaching Award Recipient in the Department of Theatre Arts. Her research interests include Early Modern theatre and performance, cross-gender performance, intersections of race and gender in contemporary Shakespeare, postcolonial theory and gender studies, as well as museum studies. Currently, Courtney examines the re-emergence of female cross-gender Shakespeare in 21st century British Theatre. She is additionally pursuing a Gender Studies and Women’s Studies graduate certificate as well as a summer archivist in Archives and Special Collections at Pitt.

As a practitioner, Courtney works as a dramaturg and actor. Locally, she has played Lady Macbeth (Macbeth) and Katerina (The Taming of the Shrew) in the Unrehearsed Shakespeare Project. Past roles include Elizabeth I (Mary Stuart), Renée (The Odd Couple – Female Version), and Elizabeth Bennett (Pride & Prejudice). Her dramaturgy credits include Much Ado About Nothing, Marie Antoinette, and Baltimore at the University of Pittsburgh and the world premiere of Sa’idah at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival.

Courtney has presented her research at the Mid-Atlantic Theatre Conference, Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Women’s Studies Graduate Conference at the University of Maryland, the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate EXPO, and the Conference on Higher Pedagogy at Virginia Tech.

In the Department of Theatre Arts, Courtney has taught Introduction to Performance and Enjoying Performances as well as assisting in Theatre and Collaboration, Acting III: Shakespeare, and the Senior Seminar (Shakespeare). At Virginia Tech, Courtney taught rhetoric and composition where she received the Hoffman Graduate Teaching Award.


“Staging Mexico in the Globe:  Much Ado About Nothing in the Age of Donald Trump” presented in the “Revolutionary Tactics: Racial Foregrounding and the Selling of Race” panel at ATHE: August 2, 2018 – Boston, MA.

“Face in the Sand: Cultural Reconstruction of the East in the West” presented at MATC: March 17, 2018 – Milwaukee, WI.

“Frailty, Thy Name is Human: Gender Fluidity and the Family in Sarah Frankcom’s Hamlet.” University of Pittsburgh Graduate EXPO, Pittsburgh, PA. March 2017.

 “The Power of the Pen: High School Courses Replacing First-Year Writing.” Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy, Blacksburg, VA. February 2016.

“A Perfect Mind: Food and Power in Mrs. Dalloway and The Bell Jar.” Interventions: Women’s Studies in Action at The University of Maryland, College Park, MD. October 2015.

Research Interest Summary

Shakespeare, Cross-Gender Performance, with an emphasis on the role of the family in these performances, English Revenge Tragedies and Politics, as well as Museum.

Education & Training

  • MA, English, Virginia Tech, 2016
  • BA, Theatre: Acting, Christopher Newport University, 2014
  • BA, English: Literature, Christopher Newport University, 2014