School of Theatre & Dance Lori Bales


Lori Bales

BA Miami University (Ohio), MFA Florida State University

Member of the National Alliance for New Musicals (NAMT)

Acting II, Advanced Scene Study, Advanced Scene Study II, Acting for the Musical Stage I & II, Directing, Advanced Play Analysis, Artistic Director of the New Musicals Workshop


A native of Loveland, Ohio, Lori received her BA from Miami University (Ohio) and her MFA in Directing from Florida State University. New York internships include Ensemble Studio Theatre and Harold Prince Productions. Lori spent the fall of 2005 in London with Millikin’s international program, summers 2012-2015 with the Tabor School’s summer program in Urbania, Italy, and summers 2004 and 2005 in NYC at Lincoln Center’s annual Director’s Lab (adjudicated acceptance). Lori has adjudicated for Theatre Building Chicago’s STAGES festival of new musicals, and is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) for whom she has served as a member of the New Works Committee and currently serves as a member of the Festival Screening Subcommittee. Lori pioneered the New Musicals Workshop at Millikin University whose mission is to serve writing teams in the development of new musicals. New Musicals Workshop development collaborations include: The Academy of New Musical Theatre (2007), Theatre Building Chicago (2008), Dani Girl by Kooman & Dimond and Appalachian Trails by Mann & Thomson (2009), Golden Gate by Kooman & Dimond (2010), String by Adam Gwon & Sarah Hammond and Getting There by Ben Morss & Les Hunter (2011), The Grid by Marisa Michelson & Frank Terry (2012), Bastard Jones by Marc Acito and Amy Engelhardt (2013), The Legend of New York by Ryan Cunningham & Joshua Salzman (2014), An Evening With Andrew Lippa (Andrew Lippa in residence, 2015), and in 2016 Pirandello by Josh Streeter & Ryan Laney, The Stage With Blood by Ryan Kragie, and the white rose by Derek Hassler & Landon Braverman. The workshops for String, The Grid and Bastard Jones were supported in part through grants from the National Fund for New Musicals, a program of National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT). String (whose first workshop and first full developmental production Lori directed) is the recipient of the Weston Playhouse New Musical Award, Frederick Loewe Award, Richard Rogers Award, and has received development at The O’Neill National Music Theatre Conference and presentation at the National Alliance for New Musicals 2014 Festival of New Musicals.

Before joining the Department of Theatre and Dance at Millikin, Lori taught for six years at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. At Millikin, Lori has directed String (premiere), Spring Awakening, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Golden Gate (collegiate premiere), Urinetown, Shape of Things, Arcadia, Eleemosynary (2006 & 2015), The Secret Garden, Hayfever, Into the Woods, Jekyll & Hyde, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Other directing credits include Hair, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taffetas, The Sum of Us, The Diary of Adam and Eve, The Fantasticks, Cabaret, Company, West Side Story, Grease, The Real Inspector Hound, A Chorus Line, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood among others.

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