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Denise Gillman

Denise Gillman

Associate Professor

Ferguson Ctr A-137
(757) 594-7262


  • MFA in Directing, California Institute of the Arts
  • BFA in Theatre (Acting), West Virginia University


Directing, Dramatic Literature and Acting


Science-themed plays.
Science-themed play that reclaim discoveries made by female scientist such as Emilie Du Chatelet, Rosalind Franklin, Henrietta Leavitt and other female scientists whose works have been overlooked or obsured. Bertolt Brecht adaptations of The Duchess of Malfi & Edward II.


Ms. Gillman received the 2014 Association for Theatre in Higher Education & The Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival Prize for Teaching Innovation for discovering new pathways for student success in the field of theatre through her teaching, directing and scholarship on science-themed plays. She received her MFA in Directing from California Institute of the Arts and her BFA in Theater: Acting from West Virginia University. Ms. Gillman is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society Union. Her professional directing work has been seen on multiple stages in Florida, California and Minnesota. At Mad Cow Theatre in Orlando, Florida, she directed Photograph 51, Dinner with Friends, Collected Stories, Legacy of Light, Pericles, Eurydice, Talley’s Folly, Humble Boy and Mary’s Wedding. She consulted with Mad Cow Theatre on their 1st Annual Science Play Festival. In Los Angeles, she directed the World Premiere of Bertolt Brecht and W.H. Auden’s adaptation of Duchess of Malfi which was critically acclaimed by the LA Times, Back Stage West, LA Weekly and American Theatre Magazine. She directed the American Premiere of Mad Boy Chronicle, and Terra Nova, which garnered “Critic’s Choice” from the Los Angeles Times. At The Playwrights Center in Minneapolis she directed The Complete Story of the War. At CNU, she received The Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival’s Meritorious Achievement Awards for her direction of Silent Sky, Legacy of Light, Duchess of Malfi and Enchanted April. Gillman oversees the Directing and Dramatic Literature Concentration and teaches directing, acting and dramatic literature courses and her signature class Science on the Stage for both the Honors Program and the Theater and Dance Department.

  • Book, Chapter in Scholarly Book-New
    (2019). Embodiment, Reciprocity, and Reception: Shakespeare Adaptations in a Black Atlantic Context. Oxford University Press.
  • (2018). Science Play Digital Database. Pages, 80 posted science play pages.
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    (2018). How Science Plays Are Building Interdisiplinary Bridges In The Classroom and Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activitiy. SPUR Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research. Volume, 1. Issue, 4. Pages, 51-58.
  • Other
    (2017). Science Play Digital Database. WordPress. Pages, 70 posted science play pages.
  • Denise Gillman, Brooke Sanders,, Comparative Drama Conference, "Launching the online Science Play Catalogue," Orlando, FL. (2018)
  • Denise Gillman, Brooke Sanders, Photograph 51 Salon Speaker Series, "Launching the online Science Play Catalogue," Newport News, Virginia. (2017)
  • Denise Gillman, Cultivating Ensembles in STEM Education and Research, "Science on the Stage: How Science Plays are Building Interdisciplinary Bridges in the Classroom and On-Stage," Goodman Theatre Chicago, IL. (2017)

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