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Holly L. Derr

Holly L. Derr is a director, writer, and professor of theater. Her most recent production, SuperTrue, by Karen Hartman, ran at the Know Theatre of Cincinnati.

She directs new plays and gender-flipped classics, such as Romeo and Juliet at Opera House Arts at the Stonington Opera House; Harry and the Thief, by Sigrid Gilmer, at The Know Theatre in Cincinnati; and her own play, American Medea. Favorite past projects include As Long As Fear Can Turn to Wrath at Son of Semele Theater, What We Were, by Blake Hackler, and new plays by Gregory S. Moss, C. Denby Swanson, and Lauren Yee.

Originally from Dallas, TX, she holds an MFA in Directing from Columbia University, where she studied with Anne Bogart and Robert Woodruff, and a BA in Dramatic Arts from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was the founding Artistic Director of SKT, Inc., a New York-based non-profit theater, and has directed new plays for the Know Theatre, Ashland New Plays Festival, and the PlayPenn New Play Development Festival. She has served on the faculties of Marlboro College, Smith College, and Skidmore College, and has taught and directed at the American Repertory Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University, The Brown University/Trinity Repertory Company Consortium, CalArts, the University of California at Riverside, and Chapman University. She was the 2017 Producing Fellow at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.She is also a feminist media critic who writes about theater, film, television, and pop culture, using the theoretical and analytical tools of the theater to reflect upon broader issues of gender and race. Follow her @hld6oddblend or on Facebook.

Lisa Wolpe as Hamlet.
Playing Shakespeare’s Men
Essay

Playing Shakespeare’s Men

8 October 2013

Holly L. Derr writes about different all-female productions of Shakespeare's plays and how this opens up further opportunities for discussion about gender, relationships, and the timelessness of the stories.

In a World Where Everyone Has Vocal Training
Essay

In a World Where Everyone Has Vocal Training

31 August 2013

Holly L. Deer writes about the politics of the female voice, and the hypothetical world in which all of us would have professional training for our speech.

Photo from Kung Fu Battle.
Dispatches from LALA Land
Essay

Dispatches from LALA Land

The Evolution of Asian American Theater in Los Angeles

8 August 2013

Even though Los Angeles has a fifteen percent Asian population, the question is still up in the air about the representation of these artists and their stories in mainstream media channels. 

Poster for Hollywood Fringe.
Dispatches from LALA Land
Essay

Dispatches from LALA Land

On the Fringes of Hollywood

6 August 2013

Holly L. Derr questions if the Hollywood Fringe Festival’s “open access” producing training is at the expense of diversity considering the inherent privilege in the model of producing.

Photo from Eternal Thou.
Dispatches from LALA Land
Essay

Dispatches from LALA Land

Adventures in the OC

2 July 2013

In the land of film and technology, LA pushes theatre to innovate the theatrical definition of reality.

Department of Labor Insignia.
Response to “Making a Career, Making a Living in the Arts”
Essay

Response to “Making a Career, Making a Living in the Arts”

14 June 2013

With the court decision that Fox Searchlight violated internship guidelines, it is pivotal to reflect on the liberal use of interns in nonprofits and how it affects who can take part in an arts career.

Logo for LA Stage Alliance.
Dispatches from LALA Land
Essay

Dispatches from LALA Land

The Road to New Writing

31 May 2013

Holly Derr reports from LA Stage Day, where a lack of female playwrights demonstrates a larger problem: if LA has so many female writers, then how come none of them are getting produced?