DeAnna Toten Beard, MFA, PhD is Professor of Theatre History and teaches a variety of theatre studies courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. Dr. Toten Beard joined the Baylor faculty in 2002. In 2012, she was named a Baylor Teaching Fellow. Dr. Toten Beard has also taught in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core and is currently co-director of the Baylor in Oxford study abroad program.
Dr. Toten Beard is an active historian with research interests in early twentieth century U.S. theatre and drama. Her specializations include American expressionism, modernist theatre design, and depictions of World War I on the American stage. Among her publications are “The Little Theatre Movement” in Blackwell’s Companion to American Literature (2017); “Inspiration and Atmosphere in Getting Together A War Play: Stage Authenticity and the WWI Soldier on the Broadway Stage” in Theatre Annual (2015); "Performance, Preparedness, and Playing with Fire: Major General O'Ryan and U.S. Military Theatricality in the World War I Era" in Public Theatre and Theatre Publics (2012); “Artisan to Artist: The Impact of Gallery Exhibitions of New Stagecraft in the U.S., 1914-1919” in New England Theatre Journal (2007); and "American Experimentalism, American Expressionism, and Early O'Neill" in A Cambridge Companion to Twentieth-Century American Drama (2005). She is the author of the monograph, Sheldon Cheney’s Theatre Arts Magazine: Promoting a Modern American Theatre, 1916-1921 (2009). Dr. Toten Beard is also the editor of The Texas Theatre Journal, published annually by the Texas Educational Theatre Association.
Dr. Toten Beard devotes professional service to the work of the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) as a visiting evaluator of programs around the country. From 2012-2017, she served as Commissioner for NAST and 2018 she began a term as Chair of the Commission on Accreditation.
DeAnna Toten Beard earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Theatre History, Literature, and Criticism from Indiana University, a Master of Fine Arts in Dramaturgy from Stony Brook University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and English Literature from the University of Mary Washington.