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Michelle Hayford

Associate Professor; Director of the Theatre, Dance and Performance Technology Program

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: Theatre


Email: Michelle Hayford
Phone: 937-229-3905
FH 475B


  • Ph.D., Performance Studies, Northwestern University
  • M.A., Performance Studies, Northwestern University
  • B.A., Theatre, University of California at Santa Cruz
  • B.A., Women’s Studies, University of California at Santa Cruz


Michelle Hayford, Ph.D., is the Director of the Theatre, Dance and Performance Technology Program and Associate Professor of Theatre at the University of Dayton. Michelle holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. Her original creative scholarship combines her passions of creating live plays with utilizing the craft of theatre as a necessary response to community and civic engagement.

Michelle’s passion for progressive leadership in academic theatre prompted her to write Undergraduate Research in Theatre, published by Routledge (2021). Previous original works include Spectacle (with Nick Cardilino, 2018), Sustenance (2016), created in collaboration with the Hanley Sustainability Institute, Dog Wish (2013) commissioned by The Humane Society of the United States and Suit My Heart (2011) created in collaboration with Footsteps to the Future, a foster youth nonprofit.

She is co-author and co-editor (with Susan Kattwinkel) of Performing Arts as High-Impact Practice, published by Palgrave MacMillan (2018) and Arts and Humanities Division editor of the journal SPUR: Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research.

Faculty perspective

"I came to the University of Dayton because the values of servant leadership are paramount in our mission. We reflect this mission in our Theatre, Dance and Performance Technology program motto: Find Your Light. Develop Your Character."