Karen Kessler

Karen Kessler

Professor of Theatre


Room:AC 306

Additional Information
Teaching Areas: Directing, Acting
Tenured faculty
Date of Hire: August 2003

Karen Kessler teaches directing and Shakespeare for Ball State’s Department of Theatre and Dance. She is also a proud ensemble member of Chicago’s iconoclastic, cutting-edge A Red Orchid Theatre (www.aredorchidtheatre.org) where this fall (2012) she will be directing the world premier of Brett Neveu’s The Opponent. Other Red Orchid credits include the Chicago premier of Paul Mullin’s Louis Slotin Sonata, the Chicago premier of Blasted by controversial British playwright Sarah Kane, the Chicago premier of Mr. Kolpert by German playwright David Gieselmann and the US premier of Gagarin's Way by Scottish playwright Gregory Burke.

Her other recent Chicago area work includes a production of A Number at Backstage Theatre Company, the US premier of Roddy Doyle’s War at Seanachai Theatre Company, the Midwest premier of Sam Shepard's The God of Hell at the Next Theatre in Evanston and a staged reading of Susan Nussbaum's Crippled Sisters for world renowned Goodman Theatre's New Play Series. Karen is past artistic director of the gone but not forgotten Famous Door Theatre where she directed the world premier of Early and Often, the world premier of a Mislaid Heaven, (a play that won a Jeff Award for Best New Work), the US premier of A Going Concern, This Lime Tree Brower and Remembrance. Other Chicago credits include: Wrens (a play that won a Jeff Award for Best New Work), The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, Hamlet and Cyrano de Bergerac for Rivendell Theatre Ensemble-a company which Karen co-founded; and the Midwest premier of Steve Martin's The Underpants for Noble Fool Productions.

Credits outside of Chicago include: Glengarry Glen Ross for the Northern Stage Ensemble in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England; Measure for Measure for Connecticut Repertory Theatre; The Three Musketeers, Scapin, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, and All's Well That Ends Well at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival; and the Merry Wives of Windsor and The Complete History of American (Abridged) for Idaho Repertory Theatre.

University directing credits include: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Frozen, Hair, Camino Real, Love’s Labours Lost, Polaroid Stories, Antigone, Bat Boy! The Musical, Our Town, Lysistrata, and You Can't Take It with You at Ball State University; A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the University of Illinois Chicago, The Rivals at Virginia Commonwealth University; Les Liaisons Dangereuses at Illinois State University; and The Miss Firecracker Contest at Denison University.

Course Schedule
Course No. Section Times Days Location
Directing 1 250 1 1200 - 1250 M W F AC, room 312
Directing 1 250 1 1201 - 1250 M W F AC, room 314
Theatre and Dance Pr 280 04A 0000 - 0000
Theatre and Dance Pr 280 4 0000 - 0000
Senior Experience 405 1 1100 - 1150 T AC, room 114
Shakespeare Performa 435 1 1230 - 1345 T R LB, room 269