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Professor Dorn, the Virginia L Murchison Regents Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, has taught in the department since the spring of 2000. She received her M.F.A. degree from the Yale University School of Drama where she was one of the founding members of the Yale Summer Cabaret.
Prior to her tenure at The University of Texas at Austin, she was the leading actress at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington D.C. and a member of the Arena Stage company where she spent twenty years playing dozens of roles. Some of those include: Bessie Burgess (The Plough and the Stars), Claire Zachanassian (The Visit), Maydee (Jar the Floor), Lady Macbeth (Macbeth), Cleopatra (Antony and…), Gertrude (Hamlet), Christine (Mourning Becomes Electra), and Emilia (Othello). Austin audiences have seen her as Barbara Jordan in the world premiere of her life's story (E Pluribus Unum: One Life) and as Mrs. Warren in Mrs. Warren's Profession, both at The State Theatre, and as Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf? at ZACH Theatre.
Professor Dorn has also been a member of the companies at the Yale Repertory Theatre and The American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and has been featured at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ, New Playwright's Theater in Washington, Longwharf Theatre in New Haven, the Breadloaf Writers Conference in Vermont, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, The Guthrie Theatre, Cleveland Playhouse, Arizona State Theatre and Chautauqua Institute. She has been honored with seven nominations and three awards from the prestigious Helen Hayes Awards Foundation. She also has been nominated three times for the B. Iden Payne Award and has twice won the Austin Critics' Circle Award for Best Actress in a Drama.
Some of Professor Dorn's film and television credits include the recurring roles of Dr. Rita Madison in the NBC daytime's Another World and Attorney Alanis Joiner on NBC's Law and Order, along with featured roles in Die Hard with a Vengeance and Pelican Brief. Ms. Dorn has hundreds of voice-over credits and has also served as host/narrator for the PBS series Working Women and the long running Literary Visions.
Professor Dorn has taught, as adjunct or lecturer, at Georgetown University, University of South Carolina, University of Maryland at College Park, Princeton University, Howard University and at the Academy of Classical Acting in conjunction with George Washington University. At the Shakespeare Theatre she was co-founder of the "Conservatory" which continues to serve the Washington community as the primary source for training in "classical" acting. She was the recipient of the 2005 UT College of Fine Arts Award for Excellence in Teaching, is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers and received the 2010 Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award.
Professor Dorn is married to Dr. Edwin Dorn in the LBJ School, and mother of two daughter, Mary, Amani and one son, Fritz.