Faculty & Staff Profiles

Gillian Eaton

Assistant Professor of Theatre

Gillian Eaton is an award-winning actress, director, and educator. A native of Wales, she has worked in London’s West End theatres and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and at the Mark Taper Forum and Ahmanson Theatres in Los Angeles, as well as many regional theatres. Along with numerous theatre awards for directing and acting, Eaton has been honored with the Michigan Artist prize from ArtServe Michigan and the Detroit Free Press Award for outstanding contribution to theatre in Michigan. She has created arts education outreach programs at the Detroit Historical Museum, the Roeper School, and University Musical Society. She was the McAndless Fellow at Eastern Michigan University and has directed and taught Shakespeare in performance at Eastern Michigan University and Wayne State University.

Eaton is a veteran of countless American and British TV, film, and stage productions, including Mel Brooks’s To Be or Not To Be, Yellowbeard from Monty Python alum Graham Chapman and Cheech & Chong, and several television shows in the 1980s and ’90s, including Murder She Wrote, Remington Steele, and Hill Street Blues.

She is currently vice president of arts and humanities for the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit, a post she has held for nearly three years. During her tenure there she has created the following programs: The Deep River Community Choir; the Y Arts Media Camp for urban teens; the Newcomer program with Freedom House Detroit (help for political asylum seekers); outreach and on-site computer literacy and creative media programs; the Lobby Gallery showing the work of Detroit photographers and artists; varied community-based work at the Marlene Boll Theatre; and collaborations with more than 20 Metro Detroit organizations. Her Y Arts Branch of the YMCA was recently designated a Global Center of Excellence by the YMCA of the USA for work with immigrant populations.

Eaton is also administering the Y Arts media curriculum at River Rouge High School, which previously had no arts program. It will be the first of its kind in Michigan, and the second in the country after Long Beach, California.

In the fall of 2013, Eaton was nominated and selected to receive the Humanities Award from the Wayne County Council for Arts, History & Humanities.

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