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Photograph of Gail Humphries

Gail Humphries Associate Prof Emerita Department of Performing Arts

PhD, Education<br>MA, Theatre<br>BA, History and Theatre

Languages Spoken
French (basic)
Gail Humphries Mardirosian focuses on the arts in the international arena and has been a Fulbright Senior Scholar to Prague, CZ and a Likhachev Fellow to St. Petersburg, Russia. She has also guest lectured in Sweden, Greece, and Slovakia. She was recently invested into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Her research in arts education will be captured in an upcoming book entitled Arts Integration in Education: Teachers as Agents of Change. Recent and past awards include the University Award for Outstanding Service, the Alpha Chi Omega Award and College of Arts and Science Award for Outstanding teaching. Directing includes 134 productions to date including dramas, musicals, children’s theatre, new works and the classics.
See Also
Performing Arts Department
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Partnerships & Affiliations

  • Association for Theatre in Higher Education
    Vice President

  • National Society of Arts and Letters
    Board Member

  • Coalition for Theatre Education
    Executive Committee

  • American College Theatre Festival
    Region II Directing Task Force

  • American Alliance for Theatre Education

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

  • The arts and international education for global citizenry
  • Arts education across the curriculum for enhanced teacher effectiveness, student achievement and parental involvement
  • The interface of Theatre and psychology

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • Fulbright Senior Scholar Award, Academy of Performing Arts, Prague, CZ 2009
  • University Service Award, American University 2008
  • Alpha Chi Omega Award, Outstanding Teaching in the Arts 2008
  • American College Theatre Festival, Region II, selections in multiple years
  • Honoree, Outstanding Contribution to the Arts for Children, Founder’s Award, Imagination Stage, 2006

Professional Presentations

  • Artistic Entrepreneurship (House of Sweden)
  • In Search of Shakespeare: Performing and Understanding the Bard (Florida Association of Theatre Education)
  • No Teacher Left Behind: Teach to Reach (Brown University)
  • Project ARTS: American Russian Theatre Symposium (World Russian  Forum)
  • Theatre at the Core of Educational Reform: Arts-based Teaching and Learning Across the Curriculum  (New England Theatre Conference)
  • The Katrina Project (Association for Theatre in Higher Education)
  • The Imagination Quest Model  for teacher training  (University of New Hampshire)
  • Keynote Addresses, The Quest for Social Justice in Education, Title II Grant, Systemic Gifted and Talented Program (Loyola Conference Center, Baltimore City Schools)
  • Acting from Within (TVI, Los Angeles, California)
  • Literacy Learning through Arts-based Teaching (American Reading Forum)


  •  Over 70 special events in venues ranging from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Press Club, Ford’s Theatre, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, U.S. Treasury Department, Fenwick Art Gallery, Cosmos Club Over 100 productions in academic and professional theatres from new works to serious drama, the classics, musicals and children’s theatre; directing at American included the development of Project ARTS.
  • American Russian Theatre Symposium and touring student production to Russian State Academic Volkov Theatre,Yaroslavl, Russia

Selected Publications

  •  “Teaching to Reach All Children,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, to be published 2009. "
  • Czech Connections: Chekhov’s Three Sisters Revisited,” Czechoslovak Arts and Letters World Congress, September 2008. 
  • “Transforming the Classroom Teacher into a Teaching Artist,” Teaching Artist Journal, Vol. 5, no.2, summer, 2007.
  • “The Quest to Captivate Hearts and Minds in the Classroom: Teaching to reach and foster giftedness in all children,” e-article,, 2006.  2007.
  • “Another Voicing of the Silenced Theatre of Josef Topol,” Czechoslovak Arts and Letters World Congress, July 2006.
  • “Parallel Power: Periklean Athens and Antigone: from page to stage at American University, Hellenic Ministry of Culture, European Cultural Centre of Delphi Greece, YEAR OF PERICLES, YEAR OF DEMOCRACY, June, 2005.
  • “Literacy Learning for At-risk Students through Arts-based Instruction,” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LEARNING: VOL.10, 2003. “Imagination Quest: an arts-based teaching/learning model,” commissioned paper, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, 2002. “Arts Advocacy Roundtable,” THEATRE TOPICS, VOL. 11, NO. 1 March, 2001.   “The Psychology of Theatre/ The Theatre of Psychology,” TEACHING OF PSYCHOLOGY: VOL. 26, NO. 3, 1999.

Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Fowler Foundation
  • Freddie Mac Foundation
  • Lockheed-Martin Corporation
  • Gilbert and Jaylee Mead Family Trust Foundation
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • University of New Hampshire President’s Excellence Fund (2005-2009)
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • VSA Arts
  • Webber Family Trust Foundation
  • 21st Century Learning Grant, Communities in the Schools

Executive Experience

  •  Imagination Stage, Bethesda, MD  (1996-current) Designed multi-million dollar business plan for education in new professional children’s theatre and community arts center; founded and continue as team leader for Imagination Quest (IQ), an evidence-based model for learning through arts-based instruction
  • Central California School of Ballet, Modesto, CA (1997-98) Focused on the development of instruction that synthesized dance and theatre dance instruction
  • Columbia Center for Theatrical Studies, Columbia, MD (2003-2007) Developed and implemented research design for grant awarded from National Endowment for the Arts Georgia College & State University, Milledgeville, GA (2008) Participated in internationalization grant, developing and implementing a Think Tank entitled “Understanding and Inspiring Global Citizens Who Want to Shape Tomorrow’s World.”
  • Hollywood Culture and Arts Center, Hollywood, Florida  (2002) Focused on developing programming for visual and performing arts
  • Mercersburg Academy, Mercersburg, PA (2004) Participated on arts evaluation team viewing curriculum in light of newly planned performing arts facilities   Merced College, Merced, CA (1998)

Work In Progress

  • Developing project entitled VOICES OF TEREZIN, to be presented as a performing in Prague, CZ on site at Terezin and in Washington, DC.
  • Developing presentations on the arts and education in international arenas for Charles University, Prague, CZ and for the University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Continuing work on arts education book Exceptional Teaching, Exceptional Learning