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Dr. Peggy Shannon

Chair, School of Performance

Dr. Peggy Shannon has served as Chair of the School of Performance at Ryerson University since January 2011. She was the Principal Investigator of a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant to study gender and war. This study, “Women and War: A Comparison Between Canada and Greece”, involved partners in Canada, the USA, and Greece. Since that time, Dr. Shannon has led a largescale research partnership with universities and arts centres in Canada, England, Greece, Israel, Japan, Scotland, Australia, and the U.S.A. There are now 60 researchers from these countries participating on varying levels within the “The Women & War Project.” Intended to build knowledge through a distinctly multidisciplinary and international research team and offer a unique approach to trauma and gender research, humanities and social science researchers work alongside practicing artists as well as media (film and television) producers, military mental health researchers, and civilian neurologists treating brain trauma to interrogate and address the artistic, scientific, and therapeutic aspects of gendered trauma and its release through a theatrical ‘performance’ of pain.

Dr. Shannon has served on grant and abstract selection committees for the California Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, the US Government’s Fund for Improving Postsecondary Education, the Canadian Military and Veteran Health Research Forum, and the National Playwrights Foundation. She is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health. Dr. Shannon has served as an external reviewer and member of the Visiting Committee for the University of Delaware to evaluate its Professional Theatre Training Program and currently serves as an External Reviewer for the University of Athens. 

Over the past twenty years, Dr. Shannon has served as a professor and administrator at the University of Southern California, the University of Washington, and the University of California, Davis where she was a professor of theatre and held the appointment of Associate Vice Provost.

She has served on many boards, some of which include the Resource Area for Teachers (RAFT), the Wells Fargo Community Advisory Board, the UC Davis School of Education Advisory Council, and the International House Board of Directors. 

Awards include her selection as a Fulbright Senior Specialist; an Arts Leadership Award from the Arts & Business Council; Outstanding Artist and Arts Education Leader from the California Educators for Theatre Alliance (CETA); Top 50 Most Important People (Comstocks Business Magazine). Recognition has been offered for her contribution to education and culture in Greece by the Greek Ministers of Culture and Education, Greek Mayors of Hydra, Poros, and Delphi, the United States Ambassador to Greece (Daniel Speckhard), the Canadian Ambassador to Greece (Robert Peck) and the University of Athens.

Dr. Shannon has directed plays and musicals at numerous professional theatres across the United States including Atlanta's Alliance Theatre, the Seattle Repertory Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Los Angeles Theatre Center, L.A. Theatre Works, Mixed Blood Theatre, the New Jersey, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, California, Orlando and Oregon Shakespearean Festivals, the Portland Repertory Theatre, Long Beach Civic Light Opera, the International City Theatre and the Sacramento Theatre Company. Internationally, she has worked at the Old Vic National Youth Theatre in London and at Hydrama Theatre in Greece. In Canada, she has directed major concerts at Koerner Hall.

She has served as the Artistic Director of two major American theatres: A Contemporary Theatre (Seattle) and the Sacramento Theatre Company (Northern California.) She also served as the Associate Producing Director of L.A. Theatre Works.

Dr. Shannon holds a PhD in drama and theatre from Royal Holloway, University of London and an MFA in theatre directing from the University of Washington, Seattle. Her BA is from the University of California, Riverside.