Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Theatre
Dionne O'Dell
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Dionne O'Dell HeadsotAcademic Specialist
Outreach and Engagement
Arts and Cultural Management

Dionne O'Dell is currently faculty for Theatre, and Arts and Cultural Management at Michigan State University.  Dionne served on the committee that developed the new Arts and Cultural Management Minor that launched in 2013, and a MA program with its first cohort of students in fall of 2015. Dionne received an MA (summa cum laude) in Theatre Education from the University of South Carolina in 2000 and a BA in Theatre and English (magna cum laude) from Central Michigan University in 1993.

For five years Dionne was the Associate Director of Education at Lincoln Center Theater in New York City where she trained NYC public school teachers to incorporate theatre into their classrooms, and directed students in the Lincoln Center Theater High School Intensive program productions.  She also designed curriculum for numerous stage productions including: QED, starring Alan Alda, and Kevin Kline in the Shakespeare Thing, both for Lincoln Center Theater and OTHELLO, for the Aquila Theatre Company’s Shakespeare in American Communities program supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.   For three years Dionne worked in Development at Lincoln Center Theater.  This team was responsible for raising over $12 million annually through government, corporate, individual and foundation giving, and for executing numerous special events.

Dionne has published articles on classical theatre in the English Journal and her plays and screenplays include: Stop Copying Me!, Everything Yesterday, Phosphates and Fistfights, Make Me Famous, Emerge, Bottom’s Dream and Dreadful Sorry.   Stop Copying Me! was performed as part of the MSU SCT 2013 Season.  Make Me Famous was performed in MSU’s main stage season in 2014.  Dionne also directed both shows.  As a performer, Dionne has worked at the Boarshead Michigan Public Theater where she also produced the popular Boarshead Theater Dark Night Series; and in other regional theatre productions and industrial films. 

In February 2010, Dionne’s short film script, Dreadful Sorry was awarded a $100,000 grant by the SC Film Commission.  Dreadful Sorry was shot in March of 2011 on location in SC.  Dionne served as an Associate Producer on the film and chief Accountant.  Dreadful Sorry was an official selection in the Orlando Film Festival in 2013. 

Currently, Dionne is the faculty mentor for the MSU student organization SPOT (Spartan Public Outreach Team) that collaborates with the 4th Wall Theatre Company providing theatre residencies for students with ASD.  She has previously been awarded an Outreach and Engagement award for her work with 4th Wall Theatre Company and an Imagine Flint Grant through the College of Arts and Letters.  In the Spring of 2017 Dionne wrote and directed FARM! A MUSICAL EXPERIENCE, a musical written specifically for students with ASD, and will tour the production to classrooms in Michigan in the spring of 2018.  Dionne also contributes to the MAEIA (Michigan Arts Education Instruction and Assessment) Project for the MI Assessment Consortium.  She teaches in both the Theatre program and the Arts and Cultural Management program at MSU. Dionne will direct GIANTS HAVE US IN THEIR BOOKS by Jose Rivera this fall.  Dionne is mom to son Toby, 12 and daughter Miranda, 9.