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avatar for Amanda Nelson

Amanda Nelson

School of Performing Arts, Virginia Tech University
Assistant Professor of Theatre, Director of the MFA in Arts Leadership
Blacksburg, Virginia Area
Amanda joined the faculty at Virginia Tech in 2013 to create and establish a new MFA program in Arts Leadership. She previously worked 11 years for the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York where she oversaw membership programs, government relations, corporate sponsorships, and foundation support.

Prior to joining Ailey, she worked in marketing and educational outreach. At IBM, she was part of a web marketing team; at the non-profit Girls Incorporated, she designed and implemented arts programs for inner-city youth; and at Young Audiences of the Bay Area, she worked in outreach and marketing.

She holds a PhD in Drama from Tufts University, an MA in Drama from San Francisco State University, and a BA in Drama from the University of California at Irvine. She now teaches a range of theatre and arts courses, including arts leadership, arts advocacy, arts marketing, development, strategic management, and human resources in the arts. Through a collaboration with a colleague in music, Amanda developed a musical theatre summer intensive course and has directed several workshop productions including "Babes in Arms," "Oh, Kay!," and "Fiorello!" for the Blacksburg Summer Arts Festival.

In her creative research she has begun to explore the intersection of theatre and technology, developing multidisciplinary performance projects that mix traditional theatre texts with new media, including spatial audio, video projections, and virtual reality. Amanda has written on a range of theatre topics, regularly presents at conferences, and is a freelance theatre reviewer for “The Roanoke Times.”