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Chrissy Calkins Steele

Professor of Theatre
Chair of the Theatre and Dance Department

Teaching Area



  • MFA, Interdisciplinary Arts, Goddard College
  • MA, Shakespeare Institute, Birmingham University, UK
  • BA, University of Iowa


"The classroom is one of the most creative and stimulating environments for me, and training young theatre artists is incredibly rewarding."

Chrissy Calkins Steele teaches acting, voice, movement, Shakespeare, and First Year Experience classes; directs productions; and co-leads the United Kingdom Abroad focused on Shakespeare. She is a Designated Linklater Teacher of voice for actors, and she is training in the Miracle Ball Method and the Michael Chekhov acting technique. As an actor, she has performed with numerous companies, including Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Moving Dock, Absolute Theatre, Wisdom Bridge, Ivanhoe Theatre, ChicSpeare, and the Iowa Shakespeare Project. She is a founding member of Bankside Repertory Theatre Company based in Alton, IL. She was also a workshop and residency artist for many social service and educational organizations in Chicago, including Urban Gateways and Lutheran Social Services.

Scholarly Interests

  • Interdisciplinary approaches to Shakespeare
  • Voice for the actor (Linklater)
  • Physical alignment and movement (Eginton; Miracle Ball Method)
  • Chekhov acting technique
  • Creative process

Contributions to Field

  • Founding and ensemble member of Kaleidoscope Children’s Theatre Company, Chicago
  • Associate artistic director for Arts/Lanes Productions in Chicago, developing, directing, and acting in productions of Shakespeare for student audiences
  • Artistic associate with Moving Dock Theatre Company, Chicago
  • Founding and company member of Bankside Repertory Theatre Company, Alton, IL


  • Horace Edwin Harper Jr. and Evelyn Wright Harper Award for Teaching Excellence, 2018
  • Certificate of Merit for Direction, Titanic: The Musical, Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), Region III, 2014

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Voice and Speech Trainers Association
  • Association for Theatre in Higher Education
  • Phi Beta Kappa, University of Iowa

Presentations and Performances

  • “Shakespeare’s Language in Performance,” KCACTF, Region III: 2009, 2013,  Region V: 2011.
  • “The Actor’s Warm-Up,” KCACTF, Region III, 2015. 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 (on line), 2021 (on line), 2022
  • “Unlocking Shakespeare’s Language," KCACTF, Region III, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 (on line), 2021 (on line), 2022
  • Roles with numerous regional theatre companies:  Alton, IL; Chicago, IL; St Louis, MO; Des Moines, IA.

Chrissy Steele CV