Theatre: Visiting Assistant Professor
Leslie S. Gulden (Dr. Leslie) has an M.F.A in directing for theatre, video and cinema from California Institute of the Arts, and a Ph.D. in fine arts with a major in theatre, and a graduate minor in English from Texas Tech University.
Originally from Harrisburg, Pa., Gulden has lived and worked in six states and three countries. After an extra year of high school as an exchange student in Japan, she began her studies in theatre at Fordham University in New York, N.Y. After graduating, she became a founding member of the TOAST Theatre Company in Anchorage, Alaska. Since receiving her M.F.A., Gulden has been teaching, stage managing, directing, and researching. As a teacher, she is proud of her educational diversity which has allowed her to teach at the college level in theatre, film studies, and English. While theatre has always been her first love, the other disciplines have helped to shape her pedagogy.
Gulden served as the original coordinator of the Harrisburg New Works Festival at Theatre Harrisburg, an event that continues as the Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) New Works Festival. As a director, some of the shows she is proud of are The Children's Hour, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea and her MFA thesis production The Box of Sunlight, for which she did the research on Alaskan native mythology and co-wrote.
In the spring of 2021 she defended her dissertation, “A Stage Full of Trees and Sky: Analyzing Representations of Nature on the New York Stage, 1905-2012.” This project used ecocriticism and environmental history to draw parallels between how wilderness was regarded in American culture in different periods and how those same attitudes were reflected in scenic design. While at Lycoming, she plans to convert this research into a book for publication.