Harriet Power

Resident Director



HARRIET POWER (MFA) is an internationally-recognized theatre director and also a writer, adapter, and dramaturg. At Villanova, she is a Professor of Theatre and Director of Graduate Theatre Theses, mentors graduate directors, and was an Adjunct Professor of Law (2011-2013) and Graduate Theatre Advisor (2006-2008). The head of graduate dramaturgy from 1994-2006, she now teaches graduate Directing, Acting/Directing Styles, and undergraduate Creativity. She has directed 26 productions for Villanova Theatre, ranging from Shakespeare (As You Like It, Measure for Measure) to farce (The Suicide, Le Dindon) to Chekhov (Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, Cherry Orchard) to epic (The Illusion, Angels in America) to musicals (A Wonderful Noise, Scapin) to contemporary work (Art, Red Herring, Muswell Hill) to the plays of Villanova's Irish playwrights-in-residence (By the Bog of Cats...., Fred and Jane, and the upcoming Lagan). She developed and taught graduate Solo Performance from 1996-2005, and in May, 2008 co-created a festival of solo performance at Villanova. An active professional director and dramaturg, she has twice earned Barrymore nominations for “Outstanding Production of a Play,” most recently for In a Dark Dark House, which she directed in spring 2014 for Simpatico Theatre. This production was also nominated for Outstanding Actor, Outstanding Supporting Actress, and the Virginia Brown Martin Philadelphia Award. Area productions she’s directed since 2006 have garnered twenty-five Barrymore nominations (including three for Outstanding Direction of a Play) and five Barrymore awards (including Outstanding Direction of a Play and Outstanding Ensemble Performance, both for Angels in America: Perestroika at Villanova).Other awards include “Best Production” & “Best Theatre Experience” for Three Sisters, directed for Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre; Philadelphia Inquirer’s “Best Director” (1993-94 season) for Mad Forest; “Best of Rome” in Trova Roma for her direction of Dinner with Friends (Teatro L’Arciliuto, Rome, Italy); and the “Best Director” award for The Burger Girl Jingle (Iowa Playwrights Festival, 1988). As Associate Artistic Director of Act II Playhouse (2008-12), where she extended a range of professional theatre opportunities to Villanova graduate theatre alumni, she directed The Mystery of Irma VepSylviaAny Given MondayThe Tempest, the first American production of Sebastian Barry’s The Pride of Parnell StreetBoeing-Boeing, et al. As Artistic Director of Venture Theatre, Philadelphia’s professional culturally diverse theatre (1995-98), she directed A Moon for the MisbegottenFires in the MirrorMad Forest; and produced two world premieres by African American playwrights, one which continued Off-Broadway. She has worked extensively with new plays and playwrights at RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London), New Dramatists (New York), Philadelphia’s PlayPenn, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, West Coast Playwrights, Iowa Playwrights Festival, the International Women Playwrights Festival, and many Philadelphia-area theatres. Recent professional directing includes If Lear Had a Lawyer (The English Theatre of Rome), I Will Not Go Gently by Jen Childs (1812 Productions), The Brownings by Sam Henderson (InterAct & Phila. Theatre Company), Human Ritesby Seth Rozin (InterAct), Why I’m Scared of Dance by Jen Childs (1812 Productions, Pittsburgh’s City Theatre, Act II Playhouse), and Seth Rozin's Reinventing Eden and Missing Link (InterAct). Professor Power is co-writing a musical (working title Dizzy) with composer Jeff Thomas, supported in part by 1812 Productions. Her seven-actor adaptation of The Tempest garnered critical acclaim and extended its 2010 run at Act II Playhouse (Ambler, PA), and her adaptation of Aphra Behn’s The Rover was supported by an Independence Foundation grant. She’s been published in American Theatre magazine (“Over There,” an analysis of London’s new-play ecology), Dramaturgy in American Theatre, The Philadelphia Connection:Conversations with Playwrights, and Perform:Acting for the Stage. Recent professional dramaturgy includes It’s My Party by Jen Childs (1812 Productions, Brown Martin Award finalist) and Nick Wardigo’s new play Hum (PlayPenn, remounted in Washington DC). Upcoming professional directing includes The Brownings, a coproduction of Orbiter 3 and Philadelphia FringeArts, a regional premiere at Simpatico Theatre, and a remount of I Will Not Go Gently at Act II. MFA in Directing, University of Iowa.