Before the Play
Show Talk Speakers
Felicia Hardison Londré is Curators’ Professor of Theatre at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Honorary Co-Founder of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. She earned her B.A. in French at the University of Montana (1998 Distinguished Alumna Award), her M.A. in Romance Languages at the University of Washington, and her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Londré has taught at UMKC since 1978, with visiting professorships at Hosei University, Tokyo; Marquette University, Milwaukee; and lecture tours to universities in Hungary and France, including the Sorbonne. She was elected to the College of Fellows of the American theatre (Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.) in 1998 and to the National Theatre Conference in 2001. In 2001 she received the Outstanding Teacher of Theatre in Higher Education award presented by the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. She was the founding secretary of the Shakespeare Theatre Association of America. She often lectures on the Shakespeare authorship question and on Kansas City theatre history. Among Felicia Londré’s fourteen books are Words at Play: Creative Writing and Dramaturgy (Southern Illinois University Press, 2005), which includes some of her program essays for Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. Her most important book is The Enchanted Years of the Stage: Kansas City at the Crossroads of American Theater, 1870-1929 (University of Missouri Press, 2007, 83 illustrations), which every Kansas Citian needs to read. It was awarded the Theatre Library Association’s George Freedley Memorial Award at Lincoln Center in New York and Jackson County Historical Society’s Education Award.
Philip blue owl Hooser is a playwright, director, and actor. He has recently completed his fourth year as a resident Teaching Artist in an ongoing educational project with DeLaSalle Education Center. He has appeared with the Kansas City Mystery Train for their past three productions (A Christmas Stalking, A Gathering of Gangsters, and Death in the Dustbowl) and wrote their current show, A Mighty Muddy Murder. Other produced works include Loving Lucy, Kachina Drum, Little House by the Shores of Silver Lake, The Christmas Carols, The Importance of Being Three’s Company, Dottie: A Story of Dorothy Parker, and I Hear America! In other theatrical work, Philip has recently directed the medieval Everyman, acted in an award-winning production of Enchanted April, co-directed and appeared in his play Coyote Mischief Tales, and performed in One for the Road as a special project for Amnesty International. He also has a special relationship with Clare Booth Luce’s play The Women, having directed it and performed a one-man tribute version of it (titled The Woman), in which he played over 100 characters. A published poet, columnist, and sometimes theatrical reviewer, Hooser is currently researching the life of artist Frida Kahlo for a dramatic adventure.