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PowellLora Powell

Assistant Teaching Professor

Department of Theatre and Dance

Lora K. Powell received her bachelor’s degrees in theater and political science from the University of Kansas. She began her theatrical career assistant stage managing summer stock at Music Theatre of Wichita and in the regional setting of South Coast Repertory. Subsequently Ms. Powell spent five seasons as the resident production stage manager at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey before “The Wizard of Oz” (starring Roseanne) took her to the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

On Broadway, she worked on “Annie,” “The Life,” “Chicago” and “Annie Get Your Gun” (starring Bernadette Peters) before relocating to Southern California in 2000. Her Los Angeles-area stage management credits include “The Lion King,” “The Producers” (starring Jason Alexander and Martin Short) and “Wicked” at the Pantages Theatre, as well as “Follies,” “Seminar,” “Backbeat,” “The Scottsboro Boys,” “Harmony,” “Blithe Spirit,” “An Act of God” (starring Sean Hayes) and “Amélie” at the Ahmanson.

She also served as the production stage manager of “Aladdin a Musical Spectacular” at the Disneyland Resort for three years, and has toured the U.S. and Canada with both “Wicked” and “Blithe Spirit” (starring Angela Lansbury). Recently she returned to South Coast Repertory to stage manage both “The Monster Builder” and “Shrew!” by playwright Amy Freed.

Professor Powell has guest lectured extensively, teaches stage management to the incoming classes at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles, and has previously served as a guest instructor at both UC Irvine and UC San Diego.


What excites you most about coming to UC San Diego?

Having the opportunity to work with this group of highly motivated MFA stage management students and share with them all of the knowledge, insights and connections that I’ve acquired over the course of my career excites me tremendously.

Why did you choose your field of study?

I have always loved theatre and have acted, directed and worked in various technical capacities; stage managing requires a working knowledge of all these different elements and was ultimately where I felt most “at home” in the theatre.

What advice do you have for students who choose to major in arts and humanities?

Never underestimate the potential power of the connections you will make during your collegiate years. Your peers and the various professional contacts you can make at UC San Diego may well be some of your greatest assets after graduation.

How do you view your role relative to the greater regional community?

Although I’ve worked extensively in the greater Los Angeles area I’ve not had the opportunity to get involved in the San Diego theatre community. My work at UC San Diego will allow me to establish contacts at the numerous companies producing theatre in the San Diego-Tijuana area and I look forward to this wholeheartedly.

Tell us something about yourself that is not normally mentioned in your bio.

I am an avid gardener, which is one reason I love living in Southern California so much. On Saturday mornings I often attend plant or crop trading events that allow me to interact with other gardeners who share my love of all things botanical.