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School of Music, Theatre
and Dance

Varner Hall, Room 207
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
Academic Office: (248) 370-2030
Box Office: (248) 370-3013
Fax: (248) 370-2041
smtd@oakland.edu

School of Music, Theatre
and Dance

Varner Hall, Room 207
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
Academic Office: (248) 370-2030
Box Office: (248) 370-3013
Fax: (248) 370-2041
smtd@oakland.edu

Karen Sheridan

Photo of Karen Sheridan

Professor of Theatre
Acting Area Coordinator

Contact:
sheridan@oakland.edu
(248) 370-2045

Links:  See the promo video of Professor Sheridan's Company Class production of In the Red and Brown Water."

Karen Sheridan, professor of theatre, is an actress originally from Chicago, who came to Oakland after a year on the road in Into the Woods. In Chicago, she played a host of roles and garnered two Joseph Jefferson Citations. In the Detroit area, she’s been recognized with a Detroit Free Press Best Supporting Actress Award for Dancing at Lughnasa and Oakland Press Awards for that play and her work in Angels in America for Meadow Brook Theatre. She received Lansing State Journal and City Pulse Awards in 2016 for her work in Chapatti at the Williamston Theatre. This year at Williamston, she played Sarah Bernhardt in Memoir and astronomer Williamina Fleming in Silent Sky—both Michigan premieres.

Karen received her BA in Theatre from Loyola University Chicago, spending one year at their Rome Center studying theatre and art history with Dr. Fink and stone-carving with Peter Rockwell. She studied mime with Michael Thomas, Bud Beyer, Thomas Leabhart, and in Paris with Etienne Decroux. Karen got her MFA in Acting from DePaul University. Karen taught at both her alma maters, at Stateville Correctional Facility and spent six years on the faculty of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College.

Karen has directed more than 75 plays and theatrical events; including repertoire from Classical Greece, the Shakespeare and musical theatre canons, opera and pieces for actors with orchestra. Her Oakland productions of Cloud Nine, Stags and Hens, The Trojan Women and Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet performed at regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festivals. Cloud Nine was selected to perform at the national festival in Washington, DC.

Karen co-founded Oakland's Classical Theatre Study in Greece summer program and has written new versions of Medea (2011), Antigone (2013), Iphigenia (2015) and Electra (2017). She has directed these projects with Oakland students on the islands of Hydra, Spetses and Poros in Greece, before returning for an on-campus run each post-Greece September.

Karen is grateful for the Department of Theatre's 20-year partnership with Synergy on Stage, a sign language interpreting company that specializes in shadow-signing, providing the Deaf community with accessible performances of plays and musicals. She is a proud recipient of the Monica E. Emerson Diversity Award for her commitment to diversity and inclusion on stage. Karen is a member of the Actors’ Equity Association. When she has time she studies with the teachers at Shakespeare & Company.  She acts, directs and coaches professionally.