Faculty & Staff

Dr. Dana Smith is Professor and Chair of Theatre, and came to Truman State University in the fall of 1999.  She has worked as a professional actor, journalist, writer, and radio announcer prior to graduate studies.  She received her MA from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon, Eugene.  She also studied at the Moscow Art Theatre, where she conducted research toward her dissertation, “Defining Freedom: Moscow Theatre and Drama, 1985-1991.” 

Dana is a Certified Trainer of Lessac Kinesensics (voice and body work), and she a member of the Board of Directors of the International Lessac Institute for Research and Training.  She is the Institute’s Archivist and edits the Lessac newsletter as well.  Dana is also Assistant Literary Manager for The New American Voices Play Development Reading Series, out of Queens Theatre in the Park.  She is a Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), and her interest in the neurological processes involved in acting has led her to begin the certification process in Alba Technique, an acting method formulated by a neuroscientist, based on scientific experiments with the physicality of emotional response.  Dana has also trained for years in the Alexander Method, the Viewpoints, and Suzuki Method of actor training.

Dana teaches Introduction to Theatre, Theatre History & Literature 2 and 3, Acting 2, Acting 3: Lyric Performance, and Voice & Movement.  Some of Dana’s directing credits at Truman include:  Seussical, Hamlet, Blood Wedding, Next to Normal, Eurydice, Tartuffe, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, White as Snow, Red As Blood, Taming of the Shrew, Rebel Voices, and a devised work, Just a Word: the Genocide Project.  Audiences might also remember her acting work as Annette in God of Carnage and Morgan in Still.