Department of Theatre

Rachel Price Cooper

Assistant Professor of Theatre

Office Location

Russell Hall, USM Gorham Campus


(207) 780-4141

Academic Degrees

  • PhD Theatre, University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign
  • MA Directing, University College Dublin


Rachel Price Cooper recently earned her PhD in Theatre at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. She has worked as an actress and teacher in Chicago and Japan and received her Masters degree in directing from University College Dublin in 2009. Her dissertation entitled, "Waking the Dead: Funerary Performance, Classical Appropriation, and Gendered Embodiment on the early Abbey Stage," analyzes the production and reception of plays by W.B. Yeats, J.M. Synge, and Lady Augusta Gregory that intermingle vernacular funerary performances in rural Ireland with ancient Greek precedents to assert Irish identity in relation to a highly gendered model of death and bereavement in the years leading up to the Irish War for Independence. Other research interests include twentieth and twenty first century Irish theatre, contemporary adaptations of Greek tragedy, actor training, specifically as it applies (or fails to apply) to minority bodies, stage violence, the status of the maternal body onstage, and the theatricalization of pregnancy. Prior to landing in Maine, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre History and Criticism at Northern Illinois University and taught introductory courses in Theatre at Parkland Community College in Champaign Illinois.

At USM, Rachel teaches courses in Theatre Literature, History, Dramaturgy, Directing and directs for the main stage. USM Theatre main stage credits unclude The Love of a Nightingale; Urinetown; The Thanksgiving Play.