Adil Mansoor

Undergraduate Discipline


Graduate Program

MFA Theatre Program

A theatre director and educator centering the stories of queer folks and people of color, Mansoor has directed projects that include Gloria by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Hatch Arts), Chickens in the Yard by Paul Kruse (Hatch Arts and Quantum Theatre), Desdemona’s Child by Caridad Svich (Carnegie Mellon University), Dark Play or Stories for Boys by Carlos Murillo (Carnegie Mellon University), and an upcoming ensemble-generated piece with Pittsburgh Playhouse. Mansoor’s solo performance adapting Sophocles’s Antigone as an apology to and from his mother, Amm(i)gone, is being co-commissioned by Kelly Strayhorn Theater in partnership with The Theater Offensive and National Performance Network. Mansoor has developed and directed new work through New York University, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, and PearlArts Studio. He is a founding member and resident director with Pittsburgh’s Hatch Arts Collective, a member of DirectorsLabChicago, a Gerri Kay New Voices Fellow with Quantum Theatre, and a 2050 fellow with New York Theatre workshop. As an educator, Mansoor has worked with Middlebury College, Carnegie Mellon University, The Mori Art Museum, and The Warhol. He led educational programming at Dreams of Hope, an LGBTQA+ youth arts organization in Pittsburgh, for more than five years. SLC, 2020– 

Previous Courses


Directing: The Expanded Field

Intermediate, Component—Year

What does a director do? How do we expand our understanding of direction? Directing: The Expanded Field troubles these questions by exploring the responsibilities, challenges, and opportunities available to a theatre director. The fall semester will focus on skills for directing scripted plays, including text analysis, collaboration, concept development, and staging. The spring semester will expand the director’s role by considering various artistic methodologies, including socially engaged art, devised and ensemble-generated theatre, and lecture-performance. Throughout the year, students will learn through readings and media created by contemporary directors, artists, and thinkers from a variety of lived experiences and disciplines. Students will practice and experiment with directing methods through writing assignments, presentations, scene work, and iterative performance experiments. Students will perform in one another’s scenes and collaborate on multiple projects. Rooted in justice-based pedagogy and community-driven care, the course aims to challenge and expand the boundaries of directing performance.


MFA Theatre

Directing in Context: Socially Engaged Practice


This course will explore socially engaged art (SEA) from the lens of directing theatre. Throughout the first semester, students will develop an understanding of what SEA can look like. Readings will include Education For Socially Engaged Art by Pablo Helguera, Artificial Hells by Claire Bishop, Social Works by Shannon Jackson, and Tactical Performance: Serious Play and Social Movements by L. M. Bogad. We will explore contemporary, socially engaged artists and the context within which they are making their work. For example, when we study Simone Leigh’s Free People’s Medical Clinic, we will also study historical and theoretical texts about the Blank Panthers, mutual aid, healthcare in America, and performing care. Second semester will focus on student research and project development. Students will deep dive into research as a first step toward developing possible SEA projects. Students will build comprehensive reading lists (working with librarians and instructors) and begin to develop a research practice. There will be opportunities to present, facilitate conversations, and respond to each other’s ideas throughout the second semester. This class intentionally will not ask students to facilitate SEA projects, understanding that the work takes time, meaningful relationships, and care. Throughout the year, we will consistently consider how theatres, performers, and dramaturgy intersect with, and diverge from, examples of SEA.