Molly Mattaini

Drama Instructor

BA, Loyola University-Chicago, Theatre, MA Completed and PhD Candidate, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies (Theatre for Youth)
My teaching is grounded in Universal Design for Learning: what and how I teach is deeply informed by the abilities, experiences, and interests of the learners in the room. I believe in process over product, valuing the skills and discoveries gained in the artistic process rather than focusing primarily on an entertaining show.

Molly Mattaini grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota where she was a regular student at Steppingstone Theatre for Youth. She received her BA in Theatre from Loyola University-Chicago where she focused primarily on directing and stage management. She started her graduate studies in 2016 and is currently completing her PhD dissertation on Sensory Inclusive theatre productions which are created from the ground-up for an audience of young people on the autism spectrum.

Molly started teaching theatre while an undergraduate, and since 2014 has devoted her professional life honing her skills as a teaching artist and Theatre for Young Audiences scholar/maker. She’s worked in Southern Wisconsin (Children’s Theatre of Madison, Pink Umbrella Theater), the Twin Cities (Steppingstone Theatre for Youth, Mayer Arts, Lyric Arts, Ashland Collaborative Theatre, the Autism Society of Minnesota), and Chicago (Light Opera Works, Chicago Children’s Theatre). In 2019, she was named a Winifred Ward Scholar by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, an acknowledgement of her scholarly, artistic, and pedagogical contributions to the field.

As a student of special education as well as theatre studies, Molly believes strongly in offering affirming and creative arts education to students no matter their level of experience or ability, and that all young people should have an artistic life. In addition to working at PMA and her academic work, she maintains a creative life working as an access designer (working with production design teams to make performances accessible to a broad range of audiences).