• Kathleen Cawley

    theatre maker. scholar. improviser.

    Currently based in Madison, WI.

    Home includes Galway, Ireland, Chicago, IL and Cleveland, OH.



    Kathleen A Cawley @ gmail . com

    twitter: @ThisIsKAC




    "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.

    It is the source of all true art and science."

    -Albert Einstein

  • Education & Training


    Doctor of Philosophy (Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies), University of Wisconsin-Madison

    expected 2022

    Advisor: Dr. Mary Trotter


    Master of Arts (Drama and Theatre Studies), National University of Ireland Galway

    September 2015-August 2016

    • Classwork exploring the historical context of contemporary Irish drama
    • Participated in practical workshops with leading local theatre makers
    • Thesis: "Schrödinger’s Audience: The tension between an awareness of one’s body and an investment in narrative in plays about death"
    • First Class Honors

    Bachelor of Arts (English Language and Literature), University of Chicago

    Bachelor of Arts (Theatre and Performance Studies), University of Chicago

    September 2010-June 2014

    • Completed extensive Liberal Arts core curriculum and explored the intersection of drama and theatre
    • Studied for one semester at University College Dublin, Ireland (2012)
    • Participated extensively in extracurricular theatrical productions in a multitude of creative and managerial positions
    • Completed research and practice thesis exploring the presentation of fact and personal narrative in verbatim theatre: “Lie to Me: Documentary Theatre and Its Failed Attempt to Challenge Artifice in Theatre
    • Cumulative GPA: 3.6


    Theatrical Training

    The Art of Improvisation (IA 610), UW-Madison

    Spring 2018

    • Interdisciplinary exploration of the utilization of improvisation culminating in a public museum performance

    The Annoyance AP1, Chicago IL

    October 2016-December 2016

    • Continued training in improvisation 

    Druid Masterclass Series, Druid Theatre Company, Galway, Ireland

    February 2016- June 2016

    • 8 week exploration of the varying artistic influences that make up the Druid Theatre Company, establishing relationships with theatre practitioners in the UK and Ireland

    Directing Masterclass with Garry Hynes, NUIG

    October-November 2015

    • 8 week training course in concept formation, text analysis, cultural context, and establishing relationships with actors

    Second City Training Center Improvisation Program A-D, Chicago IL

    August 2014-July 2015

    • Studied scenic improv including ensemble work, object work, and character development
    • Culminated in three public performances

    Second City Training Center Writing Program 1-3, Chicago IL

    August 2014-March 2015

    • Practiced sketch writing using character creation, plotline development and scene structure

    Storytelling Masterclass with Anna Deavere Smith, University of Chicago

    January 2014

    • Explored personal narrative and one-woman performance through object work and relationship with space


    Fellowships and Awards

    Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, Dept. of Ed

    Summer 2018

    Completed language immersion courses equivalent to one year of study of the Irish language


    Theatre and Performance Studies Award, University of Chicago

    June 2014

    “Presented to the graduating student who has best demonstrated the integration of artistic and academic excellence. Their academic and theatrical production participation over their collegiate career demonstrates the highest level of artistic excellence and dedication.”


    Jeff Metcalf Fellowship, University of Chicago

    June-August 2012


    Dean’s List, University of Chicago


    Research Interests

    Personal Narrative and Memory; Irish Theatre of the 1990s; Performance Theory; Illness and the Body; Intersectional Feminism; Narrative Theory; Humor and Postmodernism; Queer Studies.

  • Professional Experience

    Research Assistant

    Waking the Feminists, Dublin, Ireland

    April-November 2016

    • Collected archival data from top theatre companies to explore gender representation
    • Interviewed arts leaders about the perceived challenges of equality for women in the field

    SELECTED Programme

    Galway International Arts Festival, Galway, Ireland

    July 2016

    • Participated in closed meetings with artists and curators across the country
    • Served as customer service representative interfacing with festival-goers

    Assistant to the Managing Director

    TAPS Dept., University of Chicago

    September 2013-June 2014

    • Spearheaded a program compiling and collecting audience feedback
    • Supervised marketing, budgeting, and university funding for student performances

    Development and Special Events Intern

    Court Theatre, Chicago IL

    January-June 2013

    • Hosted pre-show events and reception for VIPs on Opening Nights
    • Maintained relationships with donors through data organization and personal contact
    • Organized Student Preview Night, including securing donors for tickets

    Production Intern

    The Second City, Chicago IL

    June-September 2013

    • Coordinated theatrical needs and venue requirements for three touring improv troupes
    • Added creative critique for College, Political and General improv shows

    Teaching Assistant

    University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Academic years 2017-18, 2018-19

    • Taught intensive writing course in drama to undergraduate students
    • Fostered an introductory relationship with theatre for students usually unfamiliar with the form. 
  • Artistic Experience


    Level D Show- The Dirty Shirleys, The Second City Training Center

    May 3, 2015


    To Have A Flawless Memory- University Theatre, UofC

    April 26, 2014


    Theatre[24]- University Theatre, UofC

    Spring 2014


    Hello Out There- University Theatre, UofC

    Spring 2013


    Theatre[24]- University Theatre, UofC

    Spring 2013


    Adaptation- University Theatre, UofC

    Winter 2011


    Theatre[24]- University Theatre, UofC

    Autumn 2010

  • Design Experience

    photo: Caleb Condit

    Scenic Designer

    Much Ado About Nothing- University Theatre, UofC

    Spring 2014

    Asst. Scenic Designer

    Fool For Love- University Theatre, UofC

    Winter 2014

    Asst. Costume Designer

    Merchant of Venice- University Theatre, UofC

    Spring 2013

    Asst. Scenic Designer

    Grey Gardens- University Theatre, UofC

    Autumn 2013

  • Management Experience


    Ghosts- Sonar Theatre Company, Galway Theatre Festival

    April 2016

    Production Assistant

    'On Grace' with Anna Deavere Smith- UofC

    Winter 2014

    Stage Manager

    Boston Marriage- University Theatre, UofC

    Winter 2014

    Stage Manager

    House of Yes- University Theatre and Black Box Acting Studio

    Autumn 2013

    Production Manager

    A Weekend of Workshops- University Theatre, UofC

    Autumn 2013

    Stage Manager

    Spoon River Adaptation- University Theatre, UofC

    Spring 2012

  • Coursework

    Doctorate- University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Postcolonial Theatre in the Global South

    Celtic and Scandinavian Folklore in Film

    Proseminar in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies

    Colleens and Drag Queens: Gender

    The Art of Improvisation

    Gender, Trauma, and Neurobiology

    Irish Traditions

    Theatre as Therapy in Volatile Regions

    Latin American Theatre


    Masters- National University of Ireland, Galway

    Theatre Fieldwork and Business

    Applied Theatre


    Intro to Dramaturgy

    Thinking About Theatre

    Irish Drama from Beckett to Present

    Writing About Theatre and Performance

    Undergraduate- University of Chicago

    Language and the Human 1-2

    Elementary German 1-3

    Humanities Writing Seminar 1-2

    Self, Culture, and Society 1-3

    "Impossible" Theaters

    Intro to Music Analysis and Criticism

    History and Theory of Drama

    Intro to Yoga

    The American Classics

    James Joyce: Ulysses

    Acting Workshop

    Onstage Presence



    Director/Designer Collaboration

    Before and After Beckett: Theater and Theory

    Intro to Art

    Sociology of Human Sexuality

    Intro to Stage Design

    Chicago Theatre: Budgets and Buildings

    Gender and Sexuality in World Civilizations

    Deutsche Maerchen

    20th Century American Drama

    Neo-Futurist Performance Workshop

    Deutsch-Amerikanische Themen

    Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism

    Styles and Practice in Storytelling

    Beginning Fiction Writing: Why We Tell Stories

  • Memberships & Publications


    Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas

    American Conference for Irish Studies

    Conference Presentations

    "So Put Down The Rope": The Rubberbandits' Newest Challenge to Irish Toxic Masculinity

    March 2018, UW-Madison Gender and Women's Studies Symposium