Gainor elected to College of Fellows of the American Theatre

J. Ellen Gainor, professor of performing and media arts, has been elected to the College of Fellows of the American Theatre, one of the highest honors bestowed upon educators and professionals within the American theater community.
The election recognizes Gainor as “a distinguished scholar of early 20th century American theatet, whose writings and edited collections have placed an important and overdue spotlight on the work of women who were theatrical innovators.”
Gainor said she is honored and humbled by this tribute to her work.
“The scholarship recognized by this award would not have been possible without the research funding, libraries, and other institutional resources Cornell provides, and I am truly grateful for the university’s support,” she said. “Live theatrical performance remains a unique, invaluable element of our cultural landscape. Through my teaching and scholarship, I hope to promote an understanding not only of theater’s historical impact, but also its ongoing relevance and salience for future generations.”
A specialist in British and American drama of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and women’s dramaturgy, Gainor is the author of the award-winning studies “Shaw’s Daughters: Dramatic and Narrative Constructions of Gender” and “Susan Glaspell in Context: American Theater, Culture and Politics 1915-48.” She is co-editor of “The Norton Anthology of Drama, co-editor of “The Complete Plays of Susan Glaspell,” and the editor of “Githa Sowerby: Three Plays.”
Gainor also edited the influential essay collections “Imperialism and Theatre” and co-edited “Performing America: Culture Nationalism in American Theater.”
Her latest publications include the edited volume “Susan Glaspell in Context” for Cambridge University Press and the co-edited “Routledge Anthology of Women’s Theatre Theory and Dramatic Criticism.”
The College of Fellows originated in 1965 within the American Educational Theatre Association. Membership recognizes exceptional professional achievements and character, as well as contributions to theater’s impact worldwide.
Through the years, fellows have included luminaries such as Tony Award-winning scenic designer Ming Cho Lee; voice specialist Kristin Linklater; theater historians Oscar Brockett and James V. Hatch; Obie Award-winning actor Moses Gunn; and pioneering director Lloyd Richards.
Gainor’s membership will be formally recognized at an event at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in April 2025.

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		 Ellen Gainor