Kathryn D. Robinson, Ph.D.

Professor Emerita of Theater, School of Humanities
Humanities Graduate Faculty

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Katie Robinson joined Penn State Harrisburg, Penn State's interdisciplinary college, in July 2003, as director of the School of Humanities, a position she held until July 2015, and professor of theatre and humanities. Prior to Penn State, she was dean of Arts and Letters at Northeastern State University and Southern Oregon University, and director of the School of Performing Arts at Louisiana Tech University.

With credentials in theatre and arts administration, Dr. Robinson has fostered diversity and internationalism throughout her career by promoting exploration of these issues through the arts, travel, and service learning. An active advocate, she has served on several boards and committees that foster accessibility to the arts and humanities for the general public and especially for culturally deprived areas and constituencies.

Within the creative side of theatre, acting and directing are her specialties. She has demonstrated her expertise in over 100 productions at the campus, regional and national levels. Among her most prized honors is the Kennedy Center Award of Excellence for portraying Martha in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" for the American College Theatre Festival. She enlisted in the project after strong encouragement from Uta Hagen, who originated the role.

She has been active in professional organizations including the Kennedy Center's American College Theater Festival, the American Theatre Association, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, and the Southwest Theatre Association. Her connection to KC/ACTF began in the organization's inaugural year when she participated as a student actor and has continued through her service as National Chair and beyond. She served the organization as an officer at the state, regional and national levels. Included are hosting the Irene Ryan Acting Winners Circle Evening of Scenes five times at the Kennedy Center and eleven times for Region IV. As National Chair, she traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe in support of excellence in theatre arts in higher education.

In 1996 with Jeff Koep, she co-founded the National Partners of the American Theatre, an organization that serves the educational theatre process through scholarships, consultant support, and diversity activities. She was named Distinguished Partner and Board Member for Life in 2003.

For the Southwest Theatre Association she served as treasurer, executive board member, Louisiana board representative, and auditions coordinator. In 1991 she was elected to the College of Fellows of the Southwest Theatre Association. She has also served as an active board member of the American Theatre Association, founding member of ATHE, board member of International Theatre Institute/US, and President of Theatres of Louisiana.

Professional Affiliations
  • Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival
  • National Partners of the American Theatre
  • Association for Theatre in Higher Education
  • Southwest Theatre Association
  • Fort Hunter Museum Board of Directors
  • Leadership Harrisburg
  • United States Institute for Theatre Technology
  • American Studies Association
  • International Council of Fine Arts Deans
  • Modern Language Association
Research Interests
Arts Management
New Play Development
Diversity/International Education
Service Learning