Holly Lau has been appointed chair of Theatre & Dance at the University of Memphis.
Lau replaces Bob Hetherington, who has been chair since 1997.
Lau, who has taught at the U of M since 1991, became an associate professor in 1997
and a full professor in 2007. From 1992 to 2004 she worked with the Memphis Arts Council
as a teaching artist for the Arts Education Program, which is affiliated with the
Lincoln Center Institute in New York. She is a member of PlayBack Memphis, an improvisational
In 1999 Lau was promoted to director of the dance program. During her four years as
director, Lau increased enrollment from 12 students to a thriving program of 32 majors,
making the U of M the only university in Tennessee to offer students a degree in dance.
Lau was instrumental in recruiting minority students into the program, connecting
the University with a national network of dance professionals through a guest artist
program, and coordinated and revised the dance curriculum.
In 2009 she became the chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance Tenure and Promotion
Committee, which provides guidance and mentorship to faculty members preparing to
apply for tenure and/or promotion. That same year she was named director of graduate
Lau graduated summa cum laude in 1974 from the University of Southern Maine with a
bachelor of arts in theatre/communications. In 1991 she earned a master of fine arts
in dance from The Ohio State University.
The Department of Theatre & Dance offers bachelor and MFA degrees in theatre. The
U of M is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools