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Rob Shimko

Director of the School of Theatre & Dance

Dr. Rob Shimko has served as the Director of the School of Theatre & Dance at the University of Houston and the Executive Director of the Houston Shakespeare Festival (HSF) since 2016. He also has the dual role of Literary Director for HSF, plus he serves as head of the BFA program in Playwriting/Dramaturgy. Rob is also the Company Dramaturg for the Catastrophic Theatre, Houston’s leading avant-garde theatre company. Outside of his ongoing dramaturgy positions with HSF and Catastrophic, Rob has over seventy professional dramaturgy credits including numerous productions at the Alley Theatre as well as productions at the Guthrie Theater, the Acting Company (NYC), Stages Repertory Theatre, Harlem Stage (NYC), 4th Wall Theatre, and the Classical Theatre Company, among others. Rob is a proud recipient of the 2012 University of Houston Teaching Excellence Award. 

Rob is the author of the book Alley Theatre: 75 Years (2022) which chronicles the history of one of America’s oldest and most significant regional theatres. He is also co-editor, with Sara Freeman, of the anthology Public Theatres and Theatre Publics (2012). Rob is a former Book Review Editor for the journal Theatre History Studies and a recipient of the Robert A. Schanke Theatre History Research Award. Rob’s scholarly writing has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Theatre Journal, Theatre History Studies, The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Theatre Topics, The Encyclopedia of Modern Theatre, The Wiley Encyclopedia of British Literature 1660-1789, Theatre Historiography: Critical Interventions, and Querying Difference in Theatre History. Favorite productions as a director include Wallace Shawn’s Evening at the Talk House for the Catastrophic Theatre and the premieres of UH student-written plays The Narrator, Brick Wall, The End of Side A, Cuckoo, Thicker than Honey, Winners, and The Debasers. He is the author of the play Specks, available through Concord Theatricals.