Associate Professor
School of Theatre and Dance

B.A., Theatre, Grinnell College
M.A., Theatre History, Theory, and Literature, Indiana University
Ph.D., Theatre History, Theory, and Literature, Indiana University

Affiliations: Association for Theatre in Higher Education, American Theatre & Drama Society, American Society for Theatre Research


Tom Robson’s primary areas of expertise are in performance and the Disney theme parks, African American theatre and drama, historical stage technology, American theatre of the 1930s, and musical theatre. In 2017 he received the university's Ralph A. Czerwinski Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award. He is the former chair of Pedagogy for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and the former co-chair of the Mid-America Theatre Conference Playwriting Symposium, as well as the former co-chair of Millikin's President's Commission on Inclusive Excellence.

His book Performance and the Disney Theme Park Experience: The Tourist as Actor, an anthology of performance scholarship co-edited with Dr. Jennifer A. Kokai of Weber State University, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in late 2019.

At Millikin he has directed Violet, Pete(Her) Pan, the world premiere production of Miss Me, 9 to 5, Heathers, Buyer and CellarRough Magic, The Whipping Man, and The Little Dog Laughed, as well as the world premiere production of Cracker for Pipe Dreams Studio  Theatre. He was worked professionally as a director, assistant director, and dramaturg for theatres throughout the Midwest. 

Recent publications:

  • "Disney During Dovid-19: The Tourist and the Actor's Nightmare," co-written with Jennifer A. Kokai, The Journal of Themed Entertainment and Attraction Studies 2.1 (2022).
  • "The New Stagecraft's Nuts and Bolts," Theatre Design and Technology 53.2 (Spring 2017).
  • "Advertising and the Commercial Spirit: Cataloging Nineteenth-Century Scenic Studio Practices." Working in the Wings: New Perspectives on Theatre History and Labor. Elizabeth A. Osborne and Christine Woodworth, editors. Southern Illinois University Press, 2015.
  • “A More Aggressive Plantation Play: Henrietta Vinton Davis and John Edward Bruce Collaborate on Our Old Kentucky Home." Theatre History Studies 32 (2012).
  • “Field of American Dreams: Individualist Ideology in the American Baseball Movie.” JUMP CUT: A Review of Contemporary Media 52 (Summer 2010).


Disciplines:  Theatre History, Dramatic Literature, Directing, Playwriting.

Courses Taught: Play Analysis, Advanced Play Analysis, History of Theatre & Drama I, History of Theatre & Drama II, Directing, Playwriting, BA Capstone, African American Theatre & Drama, European Nonrealism, Feminist Theatre & Drama, and Disney World's American Past and Future.


For more, please visit my website.