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Faculty and Staff Profiles

Lydia Fort

Assistant Professor


Division of Humanities and the Arts


Theatre and Speech


CG 311

p: 212-650-7587


  • Profile

    Teaching Philosophy

    One of the things that excites me most about theatre is that the process of theatre making can be likened to that of a journey, one of discovery and growth.  I believe the process of learning to be the same.  When a student enters a classroom they have a destination, an area they want to gain knowledge in or a skill they want to develop.  But the process of learning, how they acquire this new knowledge or skill, leads to their growth.  it is this process of transformation that is like a journey.  As a director I thrive on the collaboration between artists when bringing a play to life on the stage.  This too is mirrored in teaching.  The collaboration in the classroom occurs through the dialogue between the students, the instructor and the subject being taught.  This exchange and what makes the journey of teaching and learning a fulfilling and rewarding experience for both the student and the teacher.

    I believe my primary role as a teacher is to (1) encourage and nurture the desire for exploration and growth, (2) help the students discover and embrace their own voices, (3) provide experiences where students are stimulated and challenged, and (4) create an atmosphere where students are open to and respect different perspectives, cultures and interests.  As young artists, students are often still formulating what their individual passions and aesthetic is.  They are experimenting with a variety of forms and techniques in an effort to discover what their unique voice is.  It is for this reason that I strive to introduce the students to new points-of-view, engage them in critical and creative thinking, and encourage them to believe in themselves and let their voice be heard.

  • Education


    University of Washington, M.F.A. Directing
    University of Washington, Certificate, Arts Management for the Performing Arts
    New York University, B.A. Media Studies

    Professional Training

    The International Symposium for Directors. LaMama Umbria International, Spoleto, Italy
    The Peter Brook Workshop. Theatre for a New Audience's American Directors Project
    Physical Approaches to Performance. Pacific Performance Project (P3)

  • Courses Taught

    Directing I & II, Theatre for Social Change, Non-Western Drama, Suzuki & Viewpoints, Acting I, Intro to Theatre Arts, Dramaturgy, Theatre WorkshopL The Surrealistic Worlds of Adrienne Kennedy, and Hybrid Intro to Theatre (online & face -to-face instruction).
  • Research Interests

    Invited Presentations, Review Panels and Professional Service

    US delegate to the International Theatre Institute's World Congress in China
    Reading Panel for Southern Rep's Ruby Prize (national New Play Award for a woman of color playwright)
    Speaker, "Delving Beneath Surface Diversity" Theatre Communications Group National Conference
    Panelist, National Black Theatre Festival's Artist Networking Showcase
    Panelist, "Nexus of Arts and Social Transformation," Brandeis University
    Planning Committee Member for the Drama League's "Symposium on Directing Today" to honor the 25th Anniversary of the Directors Project
    Reading Panel for the Drama League's Director's Project Fall Program

  • Additional Information

    Honors, Awards and Fellowships

    Best Director Award for Miss Nowhere Diner, Planet Connections Theatre Festivity
    Greener Planet Award for Miss Nowhere Diner, Planet Connections Theatre Festivity
    Time Warner Foundation Fellow of the 2012-2014 Lab at Women's Project Theater
    Theatre Communications Group New Generations Future Leaders Grant
    Drama League Fellow
    Directing Fellow, New York Theatre Workshop
    Stage Directors & Choreographers Foundation Observership on Spring Awakening (Broadway)


    RIP.TIED (World Premiere)  freeFall Theatre
    When the Water Breaks  McCarter Theatre Company
    A Rat's Mass  Hangar Theatre Lab Company
    Tell It Underwater  Hangar Theatre Lab Company
    Pinocchio  Hangar Theatre Kiddstuff
    Harvest  Ethnic Cultural Theatre
    Moon on a Rainbow Shawl  Ethnic Cultural Theatre

    A Brother's Love is a Brother's Love  Voices Inside/Out
    A Rose Deferred  Harlem 9
    F.H.O.D.O.M.  Women Center Stage Festival
    Miss Nowhere Diner  Planet Connections Festivity
    Frida Liberada  Urban Stages
    Jesse  Ensemble Studio Theater
    Impossible Country  Mud/Bone Collective
    365 Days/365 Plays  Classical Theatre of Harlem/Public Theatre
    Wine in the Wilderness  Fortress Theatre Company

    Venus  The City College of New York
    Three Plays from Egypt: Night Traveler, Strangers Don't Drink Coffee and The Comedy of Oedipus  The City College of New York
    How I Learned to Drive  The City University of New York
    The Oresteia  The City University of New York
    The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin  The City University of New York

    Detroit '67  The Public Theatre
    Bethany  Women's Project Theatre
    Marat/Sade  Classical Theatre of Harlem
    King Lear  Classical Theatre of Harlem

    Dominant Gene  Urban Stages
    black Odyssey  The New Black Fest
    Flyin' West (featuring Ruby Dee)  New Federal Theatre
    Heal Me Television (featuring Clarke Peters and Yolanda Ross of HBO's Treme) Southern Rep
    You For Me For You  Southern Rep
    Blood Ties  Ensemble  Studio Theatre
    Heartless Souls (Port d'ames)  Soho Think Tank
    The Playwright Hustle  Nuyoricans Poets Cafe
    The Kimono Project  Ma-Yi Theatre
    Hurt Village  New Professional Theatre
    Saturday Night, Sunday Morning  Classical Theatre of Harlem
    SongCatcher  Ethnic Cultural Theatre
    Welcome to My Body  Fortress Theatre Company
    Enclosed Places  Collaborative Arts Project 21

    Artistic Leadership

    Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director, Akadémeia Theatre Company
    Future Classics Administrator, The Classical Theatre of Harlem
    Co-Artistic Director, Hangar Theatre Lab Company
    Artistic Coordinator, Ethnic Cultural Theatre, University of Washington

    Memberships and Affiliations

    Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, Member
    League of Professional Theatre Women, Member
    New Georges, Affiliated Artist


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