BROOKLYN COLLEGE
DEPARTMENT OF THEATER

 

Laura Tesman
Assistant Professor,
Undergraduate Deputy Chair

Laura Tesman (Brooklyn College)

ltesman@brooklyn.cuny.edu
314 Whitehead Hall
718-951-5000 x2762

Full Bio

 

PhD, Theater, University of Colorado Boulder
MA, English and European Renaissance Drama, University of Warwick, England, Centre for the Study of the Renaissance

Dr. Tesman is a director, actor, dramaturg and sometime playwright. She earned her PhD from the University of Colorado (Boulder), and her MA in English and European Renaissance Drama from the University of Warwick (Great Britain). She is a recent transplant from Colorado where she taught at the University of Colorado (Colorado Springs), and was a member of Curious Theatre Company in Denver and THEATREWORKS in Colorado Springs. She has worked on nearly 40 creative projects of varying scope and description over the past ten years and has received numerous grants and awards for her work. Select directing credits include Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights, Italian American Reconciliation, The Dispute, Bloody Poetry, Vinegar Tom, Metamorphoses (nominated for Best Production by the Pike’s Peak Art Council), Caucasian Chalk Circle, Playboy of the Western World, and her original theatre piece Petticoats & Pistols (based on the stories, journals, poetry, of women pioneers). Since arriving at Brooklyn College in the fall of 2008, she has directed a production of Learned Ladies at the Gershwin Theatre, and Elaine Romero’s stunning short play, Revolutions, which premiered at the Manhattan Theatre Source.

As Associate Company Member of Curious Theatre Company (www.curioustheatre.org), she served on the Literary Committee and frequently acted as dramaturg, director, and/or assistant director on productions and the development of new or commissioned plays. Some of these include: The Long Christmas Ride Home, An Almost Holy Picture, Whole, I Am My Own Wife, tempOdyssey and Curious’ massive, multi-media, multi-playwright production The War Anthology. She was also an instructor for their award winning summer youth playwriting program, Curious New Voices. Between this program and Curious’ commitment to new work, she had the opportunity to work with (and learn from) such playwrights as Suzan Lori-Parks, Paula Vogel, Steven Dietz, Joan Holden, Steven Sapp (Universes), Eric Coble, Quiara Hudes, and Elaine Romero, among others.

Professor Tesman has also performed in numerous productions both in the U.S. and Europe where she spent 5 ½ years studying, travelling and teaching. Recent performances include The Good Woman of Szechuan (Shen Te/Shui Ta, for which she received a Gazette Best Actress award), The Cherry Orchard (Varya), Streetcar Named Desire (Stella, named one of the Denver Post’s Top Five Productions of the year, Gazette Best Production), Rainmaker (Lizzie, Gazette Best Actress award) and Dancing at Lughnasa (Christine).

She is currently developing an original play—Bound—based on the Prometheus and Pandora myths. The adaptation, created in collaboration with an ensemble of actors and designers, draws upon multiple sources, including Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound, Longfellow’s The Masque of Pandora, Hesiod, the poetry of Baudelaire, and the research of Jane Ellen Harrison. The piece has been funded by a PSC-Cuny Grant, the Diversity Projects Development Fund, and the Faculty Fund and will premiere in 2010. She is also working on an original play, Perdita, exploring what happens when the archetypal, epic “hero’s journey” is played out by a woman (research funded by the Committee on Research and Creative Works, UCCS).

Professor Tesman’s research and teaching interests include female playwrights both historical and contemporary, women’s history, Shakespeare and his contemporaries, devising and collaborative creation (including ensemble and movement work), theatre as social engagement, acting technique, and directing. In 2007, she received the Alliance for Colorado Theatre’s Higher Education Theatre Educator of the Year Award.