Department of the Arts
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Brief Biography

Jillian Campana is a professor (tenured) of theater at The American University in Cairo and a professor of integrated arts education at the University of Montana. She studied acting at California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts), performance studies at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and has earned an interdisciplinary PhD in theater and the social sciences. Her research and creative work look at drama and theater as tools to build community, equality, and identity. She has developed several applied theater projects across the world including programs for persons living with brain injuries (Swedish institute Framnäs Folkhögskola) and victims of sexual trafficking (Mumbai University and International Justice Project in India). She has written numerous plays, is on the board of trustees for the international non-profit ISTA, and her work has been honored by the American College Theatre Festival at the John F. Kennedy Center.

Campana studied extensively with Augusto Boal in both Brazil and the United States and has delivered a TEDx talk in Mumbai, India, where she taught in film city and ran a theater company that focused on social, political and cross-cultural work. She is the producer of the film The Puzzle Club and the PBS television documentary The Making of the Puzzle Club which is used by hospitals worldwide to help trauma survivors and their families cope. Campana’s book, Acting Successful: using performance skills in everyday life, is used as a text at several universities and schools and her forthcoming text, Western Theatre in Global Contexts is out next year with Routledge.

Selected Publications or Creative Work

  • Campana, J. and Jahanmir, Y. Western Theatre in Global Contexts: Directing and Teaching Western Theater Making Processes Around the World. London: Routledge (due out next year)
  • Campana, J. and Seif, S. “Documentary Theatre in Egypt: devising a new play in Cairo” In Arab Stages. New York: Martin E Segal Theatre Center Press at City University New York. 9(1), 2018.
  • Campana, J. “Playwriting as Participatory Action Research” In Elixir International Journal. 116, 2018.  
  • Campana, J. Dream Hope Wish Desire. Falaki Theatre Cairo, Egypt. 2017
  • Campana, J. Water Water Everywhere. ABS Muscat, Oman. 2017.
  • Campana, J. Beijing Now. Beijing International City School. 2017.
  • Campana, J. and Finn, J. “Popular Education, Participatory Research and Popular Theatre” In Handbook for Social Work with Groups, Guildford Press, 2016.
  • Campana, J. “Provocative Theatre” In Scene Magazine, European Press, 2016.             
  • Campana, J. Acting Successful: using performance skills in everyday life. Cognella Press, 2015.               
  • Campana, J. “Laban Movement Analysis:  a tool for the actor” In Scene Magazine, European Press, 2011.
  • “Contemporary Acting in India:  Authentic Exaggeration and Realism Unite.” In Triquarterly, Northwestern University Press, 2008.
  • Campana, J. “Collaborating Across Disciplines and Countries.” In Academic Exchange Quarterly, 2008.
  •  Campana, J. “Lessons from the Stage - Theatre for Social Justice.” In Northwest Theatre Review, 2007.
  • Campana, J. The Puzzle Club: brain injury survivors talk, Broken Pines Productions. Distributed by Icarus Films, 2006.
  • Campana, J. “Theatrical Pedagogy, Interactive Service.”  In Academic Exchange Quarterly, 2005.

Research and Teaching Interests

  • Theater for Social Justice
  • Trauma and the Arts
  • Art as Research
  • World Theater
  • Performance and Cognition
  • Performance for the non-actor

Courses taught

  • Acting
  • Documentary Theater
  • Applied Theater
  • Theater in the Making
  • Physical Performance