Lynne Conner

  • Professor

Lynne Conner is a theater and dance historian, cultural policy theorist and playwright. Her publications include the books Audience Engagement and the Role of Arts Talk in the Digital Era (Palgrave Macmillan 2013), Pittsburgh in Stages: Two Hundred Years of Theater (University of Pittsburgh Press 2007), In the Garden of Live Flowers, co-authored with Attilio Favorini (Dramatic Publishing Company 2003), Spreading the Gospel of the Modern Dance: Newspaper Dance Criticism in the United States, 1850-1935 (University of Pittsburgh Press 1997), and the monograph Project Brief:  The Heinz Endowments’ Arts Experience Initiative (The Heinz Endowments 2008). She has also published chapters, articles, and essays in Engaging Art: The Next Great Transformation of America’s Cultural Life (Routledge), l’ordinaires des Amerique, Crucibles of Crisis (University of Michigan Press), Theatre Annual, Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance, The International Dictionary of Modern Dance, Metamorphosis, High Performance, Theatre Studies, Grantmakers in the Arts Reader and numerous newspapers.

Dr. Conner has given scores of talks on topics in the cultural policy field, including keynote addresses at the Institute of the Americas/University of Toulouse, University of Chicago Cultural Policy Center, Salzburg Global Seminar, Toronto Creative Trust, National Performing Arts Convention, Wallace Foundation, International Society of Performing Arts Presenters, Boston Foundation/Massachusetts Cultural Council, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, Grantmakers in the Arts, Dance USA, and the American Symphony Orchestra League. Her column “We the Audience” appears as a featured blog at

Dr. Conner’s plays and adaptations have been produced in venues across the country: Main Street Theatre (Houston), Theatre-Hikes (Chicago), the Actors’ Guild of Lexington (Kentucky), Theatre Project of Brunswick (Maine), Quantum Theatre (Pittsburgh), Gemini Theatre (Pittsburgh), Prime Stage (Pittsburgh), Carnegie Mellon University, Smith College, William and Mary College, Loyola Marymount, Slippery Rock University, Point Park University and the University of Pittsburgh Repertory Theatre (among others).  In the Garden of Live Flowers, co-written with Attilio Favorini, won the 2002 Kennedy Center David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award and an honorable mention prize in the 2002 Jane Chambers Playwriting Award contest and is published by Dramatic Publishing Company. Nina won the Gemini Theater New Play Festival competition and the Smith College New Play Reading Series and was named a finalist in the Dorothy Silver Playwriting Award and the Oglebay Institute Towngate Theatre Playwriting Contest.  American Humbug received a Creative Heights grant award from the Heinz Endowments in 2007 and was produced by the Three Rivers Arts Festival. In January 2013 Dr. Conner was awarded the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region I award for Excellence for her original adaptation of Lysistrata at Colby College. As the resident playwright for Carnegie Mellon University’s Interactive Theatre Company, a professional troupe performing scripts on workplace and campus life issues, she received a Pennsylvania Economy League Learning and Development Award and a College and University Professional Association Innovation Award.

Education & Training

  • PhD - Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 1994
  • MA - Theatre Arts, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1986
  • BA - English Lieterature, Oberlin College, 1980