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Aubrey Wilson Announced as New Director of Theatre

Head and shoulder shot of woman.

The new director of theatre at Emporia State University brings a diverse background of stage management and instructional experience. Aubrey Wilson is welcomed into the new role after teaching theatre appreciation and directing Sarah Ruhl’s “Late, A Cowboy Song” in the School of Visual and Performing Arts during the 2023 academic year.

"Aubrey Wilson joined us in the theatre program last fall and her impact was immediate. Countless students have told me that she has changed their lives,” said Dennis Turney Jr., assistant professor and interim director of theatre. “As an alum of the program, Aubrey brings a profound love for ESU. She is a talented artist and educator, a passionate advocate for theatre, a dedicated community member and a wonderful human being.”

According to Wilson, ESU has already had an impact on her.

“It was at this establishment that I cultivated my love for the art of theatre, as well as for academia. As a student, I had incredible faculty and staff that shaped me into the theatre maker that I am today.”

In addition to her time at ESU, Wilson was a workshop leader at the Kansas Thespians state conference and held a similar role at the Oregon Thespians state conference in 2022. Before that, Wilson worked in multiple teaching and stage management positions at the University of Iowa theatre department. Wilson earned a master of fine arts in theatre arts from the University of Iowa. She earned a bachelor of art in theatre with a minor in communication from Emporia State.

Outside the classroom, Wilson is artistic director and co-founder of Glitter Garbage Productions, a theatre company focused on new work that uplifts the feminine voice.

"We are excited to have Aubrey Wilson be a part of the leadership team in the School of Visual and Performing Arts,” said James Ehlers, interim dean of the school. “Aubrey has an exciting vision of community and school collaboration that will enhance the ESU experience for students."

“It is my hope to be able to connect our work at the university with the community in a meaningful way,” Wilson said, who along with her husband, Nicholas, and one-month-old son, Bennett, have made Emporia home.

As a tease, she added, “The future of Emporia State theatre is bright! I can’t wait for the adventure that awaits our team.”

The excitement is shared by her students and colleagues as summed up by Turney.

“I have no doubt that she will lead ESU Theatre into a tremendous new era. We are blessed through and through to have her as our new director of theatre."