Diane Merchant

Diane Merchant, Professor of Theatre


Dr. Merchant teaches courses that provide scholarly background in the fields of theatre and performance theory, with a specialization in the teaching of theatre in educational settings such as schools, professional theatre conservatory programs, and ministry. At Cedarville University since 1986, Dr. Merchant teaches Dramaturgy, Playwriting, Directing II, Theatre History I and II, Stage Costume History, Arts Administration, Theatre for Young People, and The Arts and Social Change. In addition, Dr. Merchant advises senior theatre projects, supervises internships for theatre majors, and coordinates the high school theatre summer camp each June. She is active in ATHE, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, particularly in the focus groups for the New Play Development Program, Theatre and Social Change, Theatre as a Liberal Art, Directing, and Theatre Design and Technology. She frequently works as a practicing dramaturg for professional theatre and the New Play Development Program for ATHE, and presents at national conferences on topics related to arts in education.

Education and Credentials

Ph.D. in Education Theatre, The Ohio State University

Postgraduate study in Dramaturgy, Playwriting, and Directing, Kent State University. 

B.A. in Speech and Speech Education, Cedarville College


  • Reading
  • Family activities
  • Vintage jewelry and clothing collection
  • Equestrian studies and therapeutic riding theory and practice 
  • Theatre and cultural activities such as concerts, museums, and wildlife preserves. 
  • Member of Amnesty International, Defenders of Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy
  • Why I'm at Cedarville: Cedarville University provides a wonderful opportunity to openly share one's faith while actively pursuing one's profession. The arts at Cedarville University, in particular, are thriving and exciting programs that encourage participants and spectators alike to examine one's beliefs and engage in collaboration with other artists who share a love for God and a passion for their respective fields. I attended Cedarville as a student and have always believed that I not only had a wonderful, challenging, and enlightening educational experience, but developed a solid understanding of how all that is good comes from God, and that as a creative God, He made us to also create in His image. Doing so honors Him, and it is a unique privilege to be in a place where that work is valued and encouraged. 

Contact Information

Expert Topics

  • Arts Education
  • Dramaturgy
  • Diversity Issues
  • Experimental and Contemporary Performance
  • Theatre of Social Change