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About Diane C. Merchant, Ph.D.

Dr. Merchant’s work as an educator and researcher focuses on the intersection of theory and practice within the discipline of theatre and includes dramaturgy and playwriting, theatre history and performance theory, directing, theatre of social change, educational theatre and arts administration. Dr. Merchant is a frequent presenter at conferences, especially involving the areas of theatre games and improvisation, dramaturgical research and practice, and experimental theatre. She works as a freelance dramaturg for such professional theatre companies as The Human Race Theatre Company and The Contemporary American Theatre Company. At Cedarville, Dr. Merchant directs mainstage theatre productions and senior theatre performance projects, and supervises student internships, particularly in arts administration.


Present Professor of Theatre, Cedarville University Department of Art, Design, and Theatre

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Honors and Awards

  • Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society for Excellence in Higher Education - 1994
  • Outstanding Overall Production, Miami Valley Awards of Excellence in Theatre (for Tuesdays with Morrie) - 2009
  • Award of Merit for Ensemble Acting, Miami Valley Awards of Excellence in Theatre (for The Importance of Being Earnest) - 2010
  • Teaching Collaboration Award, Cedarville University - 2017
  • Certificate of Merit for Ensemble Acting for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)[Revised], Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival - 2017


  • Directing I and II
  • Stage Costume History
  • Theatre History I and II
  • Dramaturgy
  • The Arts and Social Change
  • Seminar in Arts Administration
  • Introduction to Arts Law
  • Theatre for Young people
  • Playwrighting


Ph.D., The Ohio State University
M.A., The Ohio State University
B.A., Cedarville University

Contact Information

Department of Art, Design, and Theatre
Cedarville University
HSC 253B


Dissertation (1)

Book Reviews (2)

Theatre Productions: Director (9)

Theatre Productions: Dramaturgy Coordinator (12)

Dramaturgy Respondent (6)