Jeanne Tiehen, Ph.D.

Department: Theatre

Assistant Professor of Theatre

  • Education
  • PHD, Univ of Kansas
  • MA, Univ of Kansas
  • BFA, Creighton University
faculty-detail-profile-image

I fell in love with theatre as a young person, first as an audience member watching a community theatre musical, and then again as a performer in high school. There is no place I feel as creatively inspired and deeply rewarded as I do in a rehearsal, and I am fortunate to continue to make, teach, research and write about theatre. As a professor, I have been shaped by the many opportunities I was given to act on stage by generous and inventive directors. Through my experiences, I learned the value of creating a supportive atmosphere as a director that allows each performer the chance to give authentic performances that honors their innate talent. 

Like many in theatre, my work has continued beyond that of actor to now director, and I guide student actors with Stanislavskian technique and a respect of their intrinsic gifts. My position at Susquehanna allows me to explore the art of performance through teaching acting courses and directing productions each year. I am always interested in the stories we tell on stage, and I believe it is a responsibility to do so in ways that are artistically innovative, inclusive about all human experiences in life, and that broaden our audience’s imaginations while building students’ repertoire of production work. There are many musicals and plays I hope to stage at Susquehanna that address the changing world around us, and that can showcase the abilities of our performers, designers and production team. 

My interest in theatre also extends beyond practice into research and writing. Continuing work I have done since graduate school, my primary research interest is science plays. My research investigates the many ways science is performed on stage, and builds from work I originally did with my master’s thesis that explored the Frankenstein myth as it was adapted on stage for 200 years. My dissertation looked at how time functions in various science plays and its cultural correlation to how time affects how we perceive major scientific ideas. My research encompasses comparative analysis of dramatic literature, performance philosophy and theory, questions of identity and the power of representation, dystopian themes appearing in science plays, and concerns surrounding climate change and nuclear science. 

I have had the opportunity to share my work at various conferences and through publications, and I am excited about future possibilities where my research interests find expression on the stage in productions that I direct. As an avid play lover, I have also started to write plays, and my play Anniversary will appear at the Otherworld Theatre in Chicago in February 2020.

Courses taught:

  • THEA-101 The Fall Musical
  • THEA-103 Spring Production
  • THEA-151 Acting I: Stanislavski System
  • THEA-253 Identity in Non-Western Theatre
  • THEA-254 African American Theatre History
  • THEA-351 Acting III: Period Styles
  • THEA-502 Dramaturgy
  • THEA-506 Independent Study