Assistant Professor of Theatre

Cara Phipps

Assistant Professor of Theatre


BA University of Portland (OR)
MFA the University of Texas at Austin

Phone Number

Office: 641.784.5328

Room Location

Shaw Center, Rm# 155

Assistant Professor of Theatre

Cara is an educator, director, and writer who splits time between Lamoni, IA and Saint Paul, MN. She is an Assistant Professor of Theatre specializing in directing, acting, dramaturgy, and theory. During her first year, she has taught classes in acting, directing, and a brand new course, The Art of the Idea, which is conceived around what it means to be creative. She directed productions of THE 39 STEPS: A LIVE RADIO PLAY, THE GLASS MENAGERIE, and THE MAD ONES. Her research interests include analyzing the new play development process, queering the canon, and reimagining the classics.

She recently she directed the world premiere of Avi Amon and Tim J. Lord’s musical Through the Sunken Lands at the Kennedy Center for their Theatre for Young Audiences program. Her work in the Twin Cities includes credits with the Guthrie Theater, the Jungle Theater, The Playwrights’ Center, and the University of Minnesota Guthrie/BFA program. Prior to arriving in Minnesota, she earned her Master of Fine Arts in Directing from the University of Texas at Austin where she directed several readings, workshops, and productions including LOST GIRL by Kimberly Belflower, GIRLS IN CARS UNDERWATER by Tegan McLeod, and THE WILD PARTY by Michael John LaChiusa and George C. Wolfe which garnered seven Austin Critics’ Table Award nominations. She returned to Actors Theatre of Louisville during her time in Austin to direct pieces in The Tens for the Professional Training Company.

Prior to graduate school, she was an intern at Actors Theatre of Louisville under the mentorship of Les Waters and Meredith McDonough where she directed AI Company projects and assisted on shows in the 50th Anniversary season and the Humana Festival of New American Plays. Cara is a native of California where she has developed work with several companies including Hillbarn Theatre, TheatreWorks, City Lights Theatre Company, Dragon Productions Theatre Company, The ’06 Ensemble, and Transient Theater where she directed their inaugural production, The Egg Play, and received a FringeNYC Overall Excellence in Directing award. She earned her BA in Drama from the University of Portland (OR) where she discovered her vocation directing a production of STOP KISS. And if you’re ever looking to win her over, nacho cheese Doritos and conversations about Olivia Colman and her tiny cat, Stanley, go a long way.

Be available to life.