Theresa Larkin, Ph.D.

Theresa Larkin, Ph.D.
College of Arts and Letters
Department of Music, Theatre and Dance
Office Location: MUS 243
Phone: 323.343.4103 Email:




Dr. Theresa Larkin has been a professor in the CSU since 1986, and with the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance at Cal State LA since 1989, where she is a tenured full professor in the combined Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Her areas of expertise span a broad spectrum, which include acting (classical and modern), art, artivism, arts management, business, communications, cultural studies, dance, directing, documentary/film, globalization, media philosophy / media studies, music appreciation (classical and world), performance studies, performance training (Shakespearean acting, movement, voice production & speech training), Shakespeare, sociology, VPA, and U.S. Constitution (LAUSD Training). Academic degrees include the following: BA in Drama and Dance from Loyola Marymount University (1977); MFA in Drama (Specialization: Shakespearean Performance) from U C Irvine (1983); MA and Ph.D. in Cultural Studies (MA Specialization: Cultural Documentary; Ph.D. Specialization: Grassroots Artivism) from Claremont Graduate University (2009 and 2011); Ph.D. dissertation title: The Vismistic Triadic.

Dr. Larkin is an expert in culture, media and performance. Most notably, Shakespearean performance (classical acting), theatre directing (auteur, new works, multi-media art, one-person shows, performance lectures, and classical texts), producing (non-profit theatre, video, film), arts administration (non-profit consulting, management, strategic planning, grants, event planning), voice for the stage (vocal production, IPA, diction, accents and dialects), movement (choreography: modern, period, and folk), cultural studies (cultural documentary, alternative cultural environments,) political theatre (Boalian and Frierian Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed), grassroots activism, and artivism. After a decade long study of activism in the arts, she has devised a performance training technique for grassroots artivists called VISMS, which is a values-centric praxical approach to framing, making, producing, and performing ethical glocal artivism.

During 2012-2014, she devoted time to developing and teaching online courses in theatre arts for the College of Arts and Letters. 

Ms. Larkin has received numerous theatre awards for producing and acting, and is responsible for coordinating and conducting hundreds of productions, workshops, staged readings, conferences, symposia, talk backs, and master classes  (producing, directing, acting, choreographing, and writing). She founded (and co-founded) non-profit and profit companies, most notably: The Artists' CollectiveTheatre for the 21st CenturyLatino Classical Repertory (with Tony Plana, et al, now renamed East Los Angeles Theatre Company), and TheatreLife. Profit companies include LioLark Productions and Palar Corporation. In 1988, Theresa served as Associate Artistic Director for Idaho Shakespeare Festival in Boise. Before assuming her professorship at Cal State LA, Theresa spent three years as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the MFA program (Acting / Directing / Voice / Movement) at San Jose State University (1986-89); two years as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the MFA program (Acting / Directing / Voice / Movement) at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (1984-86); and three years as an Lecturer in Acting at University of California, Irvine (1980-83). She also previously taught English as a Second Language (ESL) for Berlitz, School of Languages (1983-84).

Additionally, Professor Larkin taught at National University (27 years across 17 disciplines), American InterContinental University (AIU) (9 years across 5 disciplines), Springfield College (5 years in Communications, Behavioral Science, Writing and Research), and guest lectured at numerous campuses around the world, including Santa Clara University, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Oberlin College, and Chulalongkorn University (Thailand); among other campuses. She was voted Outstanding Professor twice at AIU (In 2002 for Business and in 2005 for General Education).

For a complete list of courses taught and productions directed since coming to the Cal State system in 1986, please go to

Early career, Ms. Larkin trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, London Contemporary Arts, Shakespeare and Company, and with numerous other specialized training environments in the arts in Hollywood, New York, and London. In the last few years, she has studied film structure and storytelling with James Bonnet, while also being certified in editing techniques in Avid and Final Cut Pro. In previous years, Theresa completed a number of activist and cultural documentaries. Her artistic performance training has been extensive. Modern acting/directing mentors include Robert Cohen, Keith Fowler, Pamela Barnard, Stella Adler, and Virginia Barnelle. Shakespearean performance mentors include George William Needles, Brewster Mason, and medieval scholar Edgar Schell. Dance/Movement/Armed & Unarmed Combat mentors include Mary Lynn Waterman, Donald Hewitt, Charles Edmondson, Teo Morca, Bella Lewitsky, Antoinette Marich, Judy Scalin, B.H. Barry, and Henry Marshall. Voice mentors include Cecily Barry, Patsy Rodenberg, Kristin Linklater, Dudley Knight, and Carla Meyer. As a professional director and actor, Theresa has been a member of the following unions and organizations: Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, Screen Actors' Guild, Actors' Equity Association, American Federation of Radio and Television Artists, the Royal Society of Art, and the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival. She is also a current member of California Faculty Association.

In 2002, Ms. Larkin was cited by veteran critic Polly Warfield (Dramalogue / Backstage West) as a Living Legend of Los Angeles for her award-winning performance in 1981 as Lu Ann Hampton Laverty Oberlander (in the play Lu Ann Hampton Laverty Oberlander by Preston Jones). Ms. Larkin shares this honor with fellow actor, Jeffrey Meek, for his role as Skip Hampton. 

As a conference planner she worked on a national level for a number years with Association For Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE-founding the Directing Forum in 1985), American Theatre College Festival (ATCF-Regional Festival Adjudicator since 1980), and Center for Theatre of the Oppressed/Applied Theatre Arts/Los Angeles (CTO/ATA/LA) as a founding member, workshop leader, national conference planner, and core conference planner for the international conference held in Hollywood at the Renaissance Hotel (home of the Kodak Theatre) celebrating Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed with colleagues from the CTO/ATA/LA. For four years, Theresa served as Historian/Documentarian for CTO/ATA/LA. 

In 2007, Theresa was awarded a proclamation from the County of Riverside for an original multi-media work (co-written with biographer Mary H. Curtin) celebrating Mine' Okubo (Japanese-American internee artist famous for her camp drawings) entitled Mine': A Name For Herself. This production was invited to perform for the Day of Remembrance at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. 

In 2009, Professor Larkin was honored by ACTF with an 'Excellence in Education' Award for 27 years of volunteer service with this national organization housed in the Kennedy Center. The designation celebrates her critical response to countless university productions and for serving as a regional adjudicator and festival judge for nearly three decades at regional festivals held in the Midwestern and Southern United States.

Currently, Dr. Larkin is completing a second Ph.D. at European Graduate School in Saas Fee, Switzerland and Malta in Communications and Media Philosophy, with an expected completion date in late 2017. The Ph.D. dissertation title is Cancer and the Healing Arts.

For the 2016-2017 academic year, she is proud to be launching a new on-campus program designed for dramatic literacy entitled Performance Salon, which will stage four single-night play reading events each semester.

During 2015-2018, Theresa is also workshopping a one-woman performance lecture based on her most recent scholarly research and writing on cancer and healing entitled High-Risk.

While completing these new works, she and colleagues are also restructuring the non-profit multi-media theatre company The Artists' Collective for the 2017-2018 season.



Professor:  Theresa Larkin, Ph.D.          


Office Hours:  Friday:  7:00 am – 11:00 am                 

Office: Music 243

Office phone:  323-343-4103                                  


Current Courses *

Fall Semester - 2016


TA 5105 - 01

Dramatic Structure I: Theatre*

TA/MFA Course - #91861

Tuesday:  4:30 am - 7:15 pm

TVFM Building 202

August 22 - December 10


TA 5740 - 01

Theories In Performance*

TA Course - 01 - #95742 

Thursday:  6:00 pm - 8:45 pm

Music Building 129

August 22  – December 10


TA 4670 - 01 & 02 

Praxis: Theory And Practice*

TA Section 01 / 02 - #92664 / 92666

Friday:  11:00 am - 11:50 am / 11:50 am - 3:10 pm

Music Building 112 / 101

August 22 - December 10


TA 3900 - 01

Theatre Research And Writing*

TA Course - 01 - #92600

Friday:  4:00 am - 6:45 pm

Music Building 114

August 22  – December 10 


List Of Courses Taught

Cal State LA - 1989-2015

TA                  100                  Play Practicum

TA                  141                  Acting: Games and Exercises

TA                  142                  Acting: Character

TA                  143                  Acting: Scenes

TA                  149                  Diction and Dialects

TA                  152                  Analysis of Drama and Theatre*

TA                  160                  Living Theatre

BCST             210                 Body and Identity in Dance, Theatre and Film*

DANCE          210                 Body and Identity in Dance, Theatre and Film*

LBS                234                 Multicultural Arts in Los Angeles

TA                  300                  Play Production

TA                  300                  Production Support

TA                  310                  Play Production

TA                  312                  Development of World Theatre II

TA                  313                  Development of World Theatre III

TA                  314                  Staging Violence in World Theatre

TA                  316                  Theatre & Dance in 20th Century Urban Environments

TA                  341                  Advanced Acting: Improvisation

TA                  343                  Playing a Role

TA                  348                  Movement for Actors

TA                  348                  Breath, Movement, Voice II / Viewpoints

TA                  349                  Voice for Stage

TAD               349                  Breath, Movement, Voice III

TA                  357                  Creative Experiences

BCST             380                  Emotion in Theatre and Film

TA                  380                  Emotion in Theatre and Film

TVF/T            380                  Emotion in Theatre and Film

TA                  3900                Theatre Research and Writing

TA                  398                  Cooperative Education

TA                  400                  Creative Drama - Elementary

TA                  401                  Advanced Acting - Classical Theatre

TA                  439                  Arts Management

TA                  439                  Theatre Management

TA                  441                  Acting Studio I

TA                  442                  Acting Studio II*

TA                  442                  Acting Studio III

TA                  445                  Principles of Directing I

TA                  446                  Principles of Directing II

TA                  447                  Acting for Musical Theatre

TA                  449                  Undergraduate Directed Study

TA                  450                  Principles of Directing III

TA                  454 – L            Special Topics – Lecture

TA                  454 – P            Special Topics – Performance

TA                  454 – L            Special Topics: Women’s Studies*

TA                  457                  Emotion in Theatre and Film

TA                  459                  Hispanic Play Production

SPAN             459                  Hispanic Play Production

TA                  463                  Shakespeare as Living Theatre

TAD               467                  Theory and Method in Performance*

COMM          467                  Theory and Method in Performance      

TAD               467                  Praxis: Theory and Practice in Performance

TA                  4670                Praxis: Theory and Practice

COMM          468                  Performance and Social Change

TAD               468                  Performance and Social Change

TA                  471                  Theatre of the Avant-Garde

TA                  472                  Historical Analysis of Lyric Theatre

TAD               486                  Cross-Cultural Approaches to Social Performance

TA                  498                  Advanced Cooperative Education

TA                  499                  Undergraduate Directed Study

TVFT             5105                 Dramatic Structure I: Theatre

TVFT             517                   Acting for the Stage

TA                  511                  Special Studies in Theatre History

TA                  541                  Seminar: Theories of Acting

TVFT             542                   Acting Studio*

TVFT             543                   Voice for Performers I

COMM          567                  Theories of Oral Interpretation

TA                  5740                Theories In Performance

TA                  595                  Graduate Performance

TA                  598                  Graduate Directed Study

TA                  599                  Graduate Project

TA                  599                  Graduate Thesis

TA                  900                  Graduate Studies

*                                             Fall Semester 2016 Courses

*                                             Syllabi Prepared


CSLA Campus Productions, Programs & Research Activities

2017 - 1989

Cancer and the Healing Arts - 2017 - (EGS Ph.D. Dissertation) 

Ovid's Metamorphoses - 2017

The Artists' Collective - 2017 - 1991 - (501 - (c) (3) Non-Profit Professional Theatre)


Performance Salon - 2017-2016 - New Program - Ten Dramatic Readings

Fall Semester 2016

Much Ado About Nothing - October 30, 2016

Three Sisters - November 6, 2016

Death Of A Salesman - November 29 & 30, 2016

The Persians - December 2, 2016

Homeless - December 2, 2016

Greenland LA - December 4, 2016


Clybourne Park - 2015

High-Risk - 2015

The Culture of Cancer - 2014

The Winter's Tale - 2013

VISMS - 2012

Arcadia - 2011

The Vismistic Triadic - 2011 - (CGU Ph.D. Dissertation)

Maritare - 2010

Cultural Documentary - 2009 - (CGU - MA) 

Bless Me, Ultima - 2008 

Faust, Parts 1 & 2 - 2007

Mine: A Name For Herself - 2007-2003

Dracula - 2005

A Midsummer Night's Dream - 2004

ThreePenny Opera - 2003

Caregiving - 2002

A Map Of The World - 2001

All's Well That Ends Well - 2000

Antony & Cleopatra - 1999

Finian's Rainbow - 1998 - (CSLA 50th Anniversary Celebration - With Josh Groban)

The Tempest - 1997

In A Woman's Voice - 1996 - 1994

Don Juan: El burlador de sevilla / The Trickster of Seville - 1996

Los Enemigos - 1995

Ahakhav Tribal Preserve - 1994

Black and White and Somewhere in the Shade of Grey - 1994-1992

Latino Classical Repertory - 1994 - 1992 - (On Campus Professional Company)

Measure For Measure - 1993

Othello - 1992

Curse - 1991

Carnival - 1991

Quilters - 1990

Theatre For The 21st Century - 1994 - 1989 - (On Campus Professional Company)

TheatreLife - 1989 - 1986 - (Presenter's Theatre Ensemble)


Grants - Representative List

2016 - 1989

California Arts Council

City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department

City of Riverside

City of Ventura

County of Riverside

Diane Middleton Foundation

International Longshore and Warehouse Labor Union

IRA - Latino Classical Repertory

IRA - Performance Salon

IRA - Theatre For The 21st Century


National Endowment for the Arts

Riverside Community College

Riverside Cultural Affairs 

Ventura Arts Council


Committees - Representative List

2017 - 1989


Committees On Committees

Faculty Policy

Faculty Senate



Professional Ethics and Academic Freedom

Strategic Planning


College of Arts and Letters

ARTP - A & B

Dean Search Committee


Risk Management and Safety

Strategic Planning

WASC Educational Effectiveness


Music, Theatre and Dance


Chair Evaluation Committee

Chair Search Committee


Faculty Search Committee

Graduate Admissions


MTD Mission Statement


MFA Policy and Curriculum

NAST Accreditation

Part-Time (Adjunct)

Policies and Procedures

Production Supervision

Program Review

Program Review Edit Subcommittee

Public Relations

Theatre For The 21st Century

TVFT Program Curriculum

TVFT MFA / MFA Acting Application Review



Semester Conversion

Web Design: Aesthetics and Branding


Course and Production Websites - Representative List