The Monan Professorship in Theatre Arts

The Program

The Rev. J. Donald Monan, S.J. Professorship in Theatre Arts is a endowed professorship that brings regionally and nationally renowned theatre artists to work and teach at Boston College on an annual basis.

Established in 2007 by a generous gift to the university, this distinguished position is named in honor of University Chancellor and former Boston College President J. Donald Monan, S.J. The position also commemorates the late Trustee E. Paul Robsham, M.Ed. ’83, a major benefactor of the theater arts facility named for his son, the E. Paul Robsham Jr. Theater Arts Center.

The creation of this Professorship celebrates in perpetuity the longstanding relationship between Father Monan, the Robsham family, and the Boston College Theatre department.

Current Monan Professor

The Monan Professor in Theatre Arts for the 2021-2022 academic year is Summer L. Williams.

Paula Plum

Summer L. Williams

Summer L. Williams has been an active artist in Boston’s theatre scene since the 1990s as a director, producer, and educator. As part of her Monan Residency, she will teach directing and direct the Theatre Department's April 2022 production of The Rocky Horror Show.  She is a founding member of Company One Theatre and currently serves as its Associate Artistic Director. She is also on the Board of Directors for both StageSource and the Coolidge Corner Theatre.

Her recent directing credits include Wolf Play (2020), School Girls, or The African Mean Girls Play (2019), MISS YOU LIKE HELL (2019), the world premiere of Leftovers (2018), Wig Out! (2018), Smart People (2017), Barbecue (2017), Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. (2016), Bootycandy (2016), and An Octoroon (2016). She has directed for Company One, SpeakEasy Stage Company, BU's Playwrights' Theatre, Brandeis University, Clark University, the Theater Offensive, and Huntington Theatre Company, among others.

In 2009, 2016, and 2018, Williams won Elliot Norton Awards for Outstanding Director; she has been nominated for three IRNE (Independent Reviewers of New England) Awards.

Williams is a teacher of drama and a director at Brookline High School. She holds a B.A. in Theater and an M.A.Ed. in Urban Education.