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Academic Specialist
Outreach and Engagement
Arts and Cultural Management

Dionne O’Dell specializes in teaching Children’s Theatre, and writing and directing plays for youth and community. She also teaches in the Arts and Cultural Management-Museum Studies Program at MSU.  Previously, Dionne was the Associate Director of Education at Lincoln Center Theater 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 has 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. Dionne has published articles on classical theatre in the English Journal, and has written numerous plays and screenplays. In February 2010, Dionne’s short film script, Dreadful Sorry was awarded a $100,000 grant by the SC Film Commission. 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. Dionne is a proud member of Actors Equity Association, and has worked as a performer in regional theatre productions, in industrial films, and television commercials.

At MSU, Dionne serves as Artistic Director of the Sense-Ability Ensemble, a group that creates innovative, multi-sensory, interactive theatrical performance for neurodiverse audiences. In the Spring of 2017 Dionne wrote and directed FARM! A MUSICAL EXPERIENCE, a musical written specifically for students with ASD and other diagnoses.  FARM! toured special education classrooms in Michigan in 2018 & 2019. Her second play for neurodiverse audiences, SODA POP SHOP, will tour to Michigan special education classrooms in the spring of 2020.  In 2018 Dionne was an artist participating in Lincoln Center Education’s Big Umbrella Festival, a festival dedicated to theatre for neurodiverse audiences.  There she met Sean Ahlquist, a researcher in socio-sensory architecture from the University of Michigan School of Architecture.  Dionne & Sean are currently collaborating on a piece titled POND ADVENTURE, and plan to produce the production in 2020/21. For MSU, Dionne also serves on the C-RAIND Advisory Committee, and is mom to Toby, 14, Miranda, 11, and dog Tiny Bean, 4.