Susan Vick, professor of Drama/Theatre and director of theatre, directs the academic theatre programs at WPI, including artistic leadership of major productions and projects performed in the Little Theatre. Vick works as the executive dramaturg and founder for New Voices, an annual festival of original plays now in its 35th year and the longest-running collegiate new play festival. A published and produced playwright, she has also worked as a professional actress and director and holds memberships in the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and the Dramatists Guild.
In addition to numerous plays directed at WPI, Vick has staged productions off-Broadway in New York City, Boston, Northampton, and Amherst, and has thrice toured productions to the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe in Scotland. She has written plays that have been produced off-Broadway and in regional, educational, and international venues.
Vick holds a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, an MFA from Southern Methodist University, and an AB from Catawba College. At Southern Methodist University, Vick was the first woman to earn an MFA in directing. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Vick was the first woman to earn a PhD in theatre.
Vick arrived at WPI in 1981 thinking that the job might provide a short bridge to the next phase of her acting, directing, or playwriting career. She remains at WPI to this day, mainly because of the unique way in which faculty may forge projects in a laboratory environment with undergraduates. She also has made sure that the theatre program at WPI can span many student affiliations, something you would not see at other schools. At WPI, everyone is welcomed to work on theatre productions.
Vick was the first woman to win the WPI Board of Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Teaching and the third woman to become a full professor at WPI. With the support of President Dennis Berkey, Vick worked to create the Little Theatre, WPI’s first dedicated theatrical venue, which opened in the fall of 2005.