Colette Searls is a stage director and puppetry artist.
Colette Searls is Associate Professor and Chair of Theatre at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) where she has taught acting, puppetry, and dramatic literature, and directed a mixture of classical and contemporary works, including award-winning devised puppet plays.
Other directing credits include Kendra's Bay at the inaugural
Light City Baltimore international arts festival , Noah Haidle’s Vigils at The Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (four Helen Hayes Award nominations), and Fixed Boundary (with Leibe Wetzle’s Lunatique Fantastique) at San Francisco’s Exit Theatre (“Best of the San Francisco Fringe Festival”). She has received grants from the Jim Henson Foundation and Puppeteers of America for her original work in found-object puppetry aimed at adult audiences. She has provided puppetry coaching for professional theatres, served on the UNIMA-USA board of directors, and lectured and published internationally on puppetry's intersections with new animation technologies. Her essay on digital puppetry and special effects, "Unholy Alliances and Harmonious Hybrids: New Fusions in Puppetry and Animation" is published in The Routledge Companion to Puppetry and Material Performance.
In collaboration with animator Lynn Tomlinson and UMBC's Imaging Research Center , she has created an award-winning digital puppetry app which has been used in live performances and presented at conferences internationally.
BA: UC Berkeley
MFA, Directing: UC Irvine