Position Type
- Present
She / Her / Hers

Annette Thornton (PhD, University of Colorado, Boulder) is retired Professor of Theatre, Interpretation, and Dance at Central Michigan University. She taught Music Theatre Performance and History Courses, Acting, Movement for the Actor, Irish Theatre and Drama, and Oral Interpretation of Literature. Selected directing/ choreographing credits include: The Full Monty (Attic Theatre, WI), Carousel (Thunder Bay Theatre), Oedipus (Midland Center for the Arts); Blood Wedding, Ragtime, and Oklahoma! (all KC-ACTF Certificates of Merit for Directing); The Secret Garden, Into the Woods, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Scarlet Pimpernel, 42nd Street, Working, Hair, The Other Project (a devised work), and for colored girls… In 2011 Thornton played the role of Vivian Bearing in Wit at Bethel College (KS) sharing the bill of Greer Visiting Artist Series with playwright Margaret Edson. Thornton’s scholarly interests include mime, mime performers, physical theatre, non-Western traditions, and musical theatre. Her dissertation on Lotte Goslar, Grandma Always Danced: The Mime Theatre of Lotte Goslar, is the first full-length study of this important female clown/pantomime/ dancer. She co-edited Physical Dramaturgy: Perspectives from the Field (2018, Routledge) with Jeff Casazza (Purdue University Fort Wayne) and Rachel Bowditch (Arizona State University). Thornton has studied mime with Marcel Marceau, Meyerhold’s Theatrical Biomechanics with Gennadi Bogdanov, “Acting and Empathy” with Anna Deavere Smith, and is a certified yoga teacher. Thornton served on the executive board of Association of Theatre Movement Educators [ATME] for ten years (as Secretary, VP, and President) and continues to serve on the Advisory Board. She is the recipient of ATME’s prestigious Outstanding Service Award (2018). Thornton was at Denison University this past fall working on movement for The Pests, directed by Cheryl McFarren.

She is delighted to be back for this semester. Prior to her life in academe, she taught high school French and was the owner and artistic director of a private dance studio in Kansas for 17 years.

PhD, University of Colorado, Boulder

Learning & Teaching

  • Performing Voices
  • Acting for Music Theatre