faculty name

Assistant Professor
M.F.A., University of North Carolina at Greensboro

René Copeland

Portrait of Rene CopelandAssistant Professor

M.F.A., University of North Carolina at Greensboro
B.F.A., University of Montevallo

René Copeland joins the Baldwin Wallace University theatre faculty as an assistant professor of directing. Copeland most recently taught at Vanderbilt University and Middle Tennessee State University. Prior to that, she completed 15 years as producing artistic director at Nashville Repertory Theatre, a professional Equity theatre. Her 30-year professional career as a director has encompassed directing more than 50 productions, dozens of staged readings and years of teaching at various levels.

During her time in Nashville, she directed for nearly every professional theatre in the area, including Nashville Children’s Theatre, Studio Tenn Theatre, and Nashville Shakespeare Festival, spanning multiple genres, from musical theatre (“Sweeney Todd,” “Cabaret,” “Chicago”) to contemporary work (“Shakespeare in Love,” “A Doll’s House Part 2,” “Noises Off”) to American classics (“Death of a Salesman,” “The Glass Menagerie,” “A Raisin in the Sun”).

She launched Nashville Rep’s nationally recognized Ingram New Works Project, a new play development project that fostered mid-career playwrights and offered support to playwrights of national reputation through the Ingram Fellowship. Ingram Fellows she was privileged to work with included David Auburn, John Patrick Shanley, Steven Dietz, Doug Wright, Theresa Rebeck, Donald Margulies, Rebecca Gilman, Christopher Durang and Sarah Ruhl.

Copeland is the recipient of multiple directing awards for plays and musicals, is a member of Leadership Nashville 2016, served on the Professional Theatre Advisory Board for Lipscomb University and was a member of the 2017 Racial Equity in Arts Leadership cohort at the Curb Center for Arts, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University.