Dr. Merchant’s work as an educator and researcher focuses on the intersection of theory and practice within the discipline of theatre and includes dramaturgy and playwriting, theatre history and performance theory, directing, theatre of social change, educational theatre and arts administration. Dr. Merchant is a frequent presenter at conferences, especially involving the areas of theatre games and improvisation, dramaturgical research and practice, and experimental theatre. She works as a freelance dramaturg for such professional theatre companies as The Human Race Theatre Company and The Contemporary American Theatre Company. At Cedarville, Dr. Merchant directs mainstage theatre productions and senior theatre performance projects, and supervises student internships, particularly in arts administration.
Education and Credentials
- B.A. in Speech, Cedarville University
- Postgraduate work, Kent State University
- Ph.D., The Ohio State University
- Professional Labor Union Membership: Stage Directors and Choreographers
- Active Professional Memberships: Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, American Association of Arts Administration Educators, Phi Kappa Phi (The Ohio State University Chapter)
- Russian literature, attending performances, glass blowing, antiques, jazz and classical music.
- Favorite places to visit: New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco, Sarasota, Ontario.
- Why Cedarville: I am excited about the potential theatre has of changing lives, and experiencing the joy of theatre in a context rich with the possibility of exploring ideas with others living a life of faith.
- Favorite Quotation: “I believe that a study of theatre is the best way to expand minds and sharpen emotions.” - Theatre critic Daniel Seltzer.
- Arts Education
- Diversity Issues
- Experimental and Contemporary Performance
- Theatre of Social Change