Colette Searls

Associate Professor

csearls@umbc.edu

B.A. English, University of California, Berkeley
M.F.A. Directing, University of California, Irvine

Colette Searls is associate professor of theatre and head of performance at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) where she teaches acting, directing, and puppetry, and has devised award-winning object theatre performances. She has received grants from the Jim Henson Foundation and Puppeteers of America for her original works in object theatre. In collaboration with animator Lynn Tomlinson and UMBC’s Imaging Research Center, she has created an award-winning digital puppet app which has been used in her live performances and presented at conferences internationally. Other directing credits include Albert’s Dream at the Brilliant Baltimore international arts festival, Noah Haidle’s Vigils at The Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (four Helen Hayes Award nominations), and Fixed Boundary (with Leibe Wetzle’s Lunatique Fantastique) at San Francisco’s Exit Theatre (“Best of the San Francisco Fringe Festival”). Her book, A Galaxy of Things: the Power of Puppets and Masks in Star Wars and Beyond is forthcoming with Routledge Press in 2022. Before coming to UMBC, Searls worked in the non-profit sector combining arts with human services; she produced plays by incarcerated Californians, performed inside state prisons, and served as the first project coordinator for Santa Cruz County’s Community Youth Arts Project which worked with local teenagers in music, theatre, and visual arts at public schools and juvenile detention centers.

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