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Elizabeth (Betsy) Hamilton

  • Professor Emerita
  • BFA University of Texas; Advanced Degree, Mary Wigman Schule
  • Emeriti Professor

Professor Hamilton graduated from the University of Texas with degrees in acting and dance. She went on to receive her advanced degree from the Mary Wigman Schule in West Berlin, Germany. Upon returning to the states she returned to the University of Texas as an instructor and then spent a lengthy tenure in the Dance and Theatre departments at California State University Long Beach. During that period she also was a guest professor at Penn State for two years. She also began working, for three summers at the Ashland Shakespeare Festival (in Oregon) as the assistant choreographer and lead dancer. The next 13 summers were spent as choreographer of the mainstage shows and director, designer and developer of the outdoor “Green Show” at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, Utah. Betsy joined The Theatre School in 1984. Her areas of expertise were Movement for the Actor, Choreographer/Director, Modern Dance, Musical Theatre and Historical Dance forms. In 1986 she became the Head of  Movement and was instrumental in establishing the movement curriculum for actors within the Performance Area. One of her first acts as Head of Movement was to introduce yoga and Feldenkrais into the movement curriculum. In view of this, Betsy became a certified Feldenkrais Practitioner and a life-long yoga student. In the early to mid ‘90s she became Chair of the Performance Program and during that period was given full professorship. Among the shows she directed and choreographed for The Theatre School’s Showcase Series were Terminal, Into The Woods, Women of Troy, Assassins, and A New Brain. For Chicago Playworks for Families and Young Audiences she directed/choreographed such shows as The Nightingale, The Dragon That Lived Downstairs and The Little Prince. She directed numerous other productions for The Theatre School at various levels of producion, including numerous Introduction to Performance productions, and studio/workshops. In 2003 Betsy received the Excellence in Teaching Award from DePaul University, and upon her retirement in 2008 was given the status of Professor Emeritus.