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New U of M Theatre & Dance Chair is Holly Lau

For release: August 9, 2012
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901-678-2843

Holly Lau
Holly Lau

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 has taught at the U of M since 1991. She 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 theatre company.

In 1999 Lau was promoted to director of the dance program. During her four years as director, she 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 coordinating and revising 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 studies.

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 U of M Department of Theatre & Dance offers bachelor’s and MFA degrees in theatre. The University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre.

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