Michelle Hayford

Contact Information

Michelle Hayford

Associate Professor; Director of the Theatre Program

  • Full-Time Faculty


Michelle Hayford came to the University of Dayton in Fall 2014 from Florida Gulf Coast University, where she served as Theatre Program Leader and Assistant Director of the Bower School of Music, Theatre & Visual Art. Her favorite courses to teach include performance theory courses using performance as a methodology, devising original works, and the intersection of diversity and performance.

Dr. Hayford’s research interests include applied theatre, ethno-drama, performativity in everyday life and identity, gender, and embodied ways of knowing. She is committed to interdisciplinary inquiry and bringing theory into practice through performance. Her original creative scholarship combines her passions of creating live plays with utilizing the craft of theatre as a necessary response to community and civic engagement.

Dr. Hayford's goal at the University to Dayton is to realize a vision for the Theatre Program that aligns with the institutional values of innovation through collaboration and servant leadership. She is excited to join the UD family, where her vision for creative arts engaged in community and committed to multidisciplinary and experiential learning will be nurtured across campus.

Faculty Perspective

I came to the University of Dayton because the values of servant leadership are paramount in our mission.  We reflect this mission in our Theatre, Dance, and Performance Technology program motto: Find Your Light. Develop Your Character.


  • Ph.D. Performance Studies, Northwestern University
  • M.A. Performance Studies, Northwestern University
  • B.A. Theatre, University of California at Santa Cruz
  • B.A. Women’s Studies, University of California at Santa Cruz