Author: Robert A. Schanke

Robert A. Schanke is Professor Emeritus of Theatre at Central College, Iowa, where he served for twenty-seven years. A native Iowan, he received his BA from Midland College in Nebraska and both his MA and Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska. His articles on theater history appear in Theatre Survey, Theatre Topics, Southern Theatre, and Central States Speech Journal. He has contributed to numerous reference books and anthologies, including Women in American Theatre, Cambridge Guide to American Theatre, and Shakespeare Around the Globe.Robert Schanke

He is author of Ibsen in America: A Century of Change (Scarecrow, 1988) and Eva Le Gallienne: A Bio-Bibliography (Greenwood, 1989). His Shattered Applause: The Lives of Eva Le Gallienne (Southern Illinois, 1992) was a finalist for both the Lambda Literary Award and the Barnard Hewitt Award for theater research. He coedited with Kim Marra Passing Performances: Queer Readings of Leading Players in American Theater History (Michigan, 1998) and Staging Desire: Queer Readings of American Theater History (Michigan, 2002). Their final collaboration, The Gay and Lesbian Theatrical Legacy, appeared in 2005.

His previous book is a collection of essays titled Angels in the American Theater: Patrons, Patronage, and Philanthropy (Southern Illinois, 2007). Prior to that, his book “That Furious Lesbian”: The Story of Mercedes de Acosta (Southern Illinois, 2003), won the ForeWord magazine Book of the Year award in the best gay and lesbian nonfiction category. He also published Women in Turmoil: Six Plays by Mercedes de Acosta (Southern Illinois, 2003).

He edited the international journal Theatre History Studies from 1993 to 2005. He served as a Vice-President for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (2000-2002) and served as President of the LGBT (Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Transgendered) Focus Group of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.

Besides his writing, he has directed theatre productions in England, Wales, and Mexico. Several universities have invited him to present guest lectures on their campuses. He is a Fellow of the Mid-America Theatre Conference and was honored with Alumni Achievement Awards by both Midland College and the University of Nebraska. In 2003 he was elected into the National Theatre Conference, and in 2005 he was elected into membership of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre and also received the “Excellence in Editing” Award from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. He is currently serving as Vice-President for Awards for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.