CSU, Chico News

Former Theatre Professor Katie Whitlock Receives Posthumous Award

Date: 08-29-2016

CONTACT: Joe Wills, Public Affairs
TEL: 530-898-4143

Katie Whitlock, a former Department of Music and Theatre professor at California State University, Chico, was posthumously honored with the 2016 Oscar Brockett Outstanding Teacher of Theatre in Higher Education Award by the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE).

Whitlock, affectionately known to her students as Dr. Katie, was named the recipient of the ATHE award this month.

“A dedicated and consummate professor, Dr. Whitlock was a teacher who gave 24/7 to her students, not just as an educator, but also as a trusted mentor and advisor,” said Bradley Martin, chair of the music and theatre department at CSU, Chico. “The legacy she has left here at Chico State, and at the other institutions where she taught, will be remembered for many years to come.”

Whitlock received her PhD in theatre history, literature and criticism in 2004 from The Ohio State University. She also received an MFA in theatrical design from the University of Memphis, specializing in sound design, and a BFA in stage and arts management from the University of Arizona.

She began her academic career as an assistant professor at the University of Florida in 2005, and she came to CSU, Chico in the fall of 2006. She was promoted to associate professor of theatre design and general studies in 2010. After her death in 2015, Whitlock was posthumously promoted to full professor.

“Her professional curriculum vitae runs 15 pages and demonstrates the breadth and depth of her academic and professional accomplishments,” the ATHE said of Whitlock in its announcement of the award. “Her legendary work ethic and unflagging love of theatre are legible in the text of her life; her pursuit of excellence and her devotion to her students are reflected in their nomination of her for this prestigious award.”

Whitlock’s practical and scholarly work revolved around intersections of performance and technology with a particular interest in the nature of video games as the latest in a long line of interactive art forms. Her dissertation was titled “Theatre and the Video Game: Beauty and the Beast,” hinting at the connections between theatrical narrative, character and design as related to the latest, hippest trends in video game design and culture.

ATHE serves as an intellectual and artistic center for producing new knowledge about theatre and performance-related disciplines, cultivating vital alliances with other scholarly and creative disciplines, linking with professional and community-based theatres, and promoting access and equity.