Robert Quinlan is a freelance theatre director based in Chicago. Most recently, he directed Let X by Gwydion Suilebhan, Nothing Special Productions (Chicago);The Weaver's Tales: Of Debt and the Maidens by Rebekah Scallet, Fifth House Ensemble (Chicago); Death at Jefferson (Reading) by Ryan M. Prendergast, InchWorm Play Reading Series (Chicago); The Magic Bicycle by John Olive (world premiere), First Stage Milwaukee; Iphigenia and Other Daughters by Ellen McLaughlin, University of Illinois Department of Theatre; And I Remember by Karen Vaccaro and Robert Quinlan, Independent Media Center of Urbana. He assisted director Tina Landau on the Broadway production of Superior Donuts by Tracy Letts; and Matt Wallace on Macbeth with the inmates of the Shakespeare Behind Bars Program in LaGrange, Kentucky. He collaborated on large-scale partnerships with the Milwaukee Public School System and the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee during three seasons as Education Director and Associate Artistic Director of Milwaukee Shakespeare.
A language-based director, he has staged plays by William Inge, Martin McDonagh, José Rivera, William Shakespeare, García Lorca and Thornton Wilder, among others. He works frequently with Looking for Lilith, for whom he directed the original play Class of Seventy in New York and Louisville. Robert has taught directing, acting, and text analysis at various Colleges and Universities, and worked widely as a text coach in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest.
As an actor, he has appeared with Madison Repertory Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare, Book-It Repertory, Tacoma Actors Guild, The Empty Space, Taproot Theatre, Victory Gardens and numerous productions with Milwaukee Shakespeare, as well as appearances on television and in independent film. He was the founding Artistic Director of Seattle's TOYM Theatre, which produced The Baby Dance for the Seattle Fringe Festival. It won the Best of the Fest Award and was later remounted at A Contemporary Theatre and Seattle Repertory Theatre. He has served as dialect and vocal coach for dozens of university and professional productions (including the Willamette University Theatre Department's 2000 production of You Never Can Tell). Robert is a company member of the American Shakespeare Theatre, an international touring ensemble, whose tour of Hamlet to Taiwan is currently featured on the Sundance Channel in the documentary film Within a Play.
Robert Quinlan holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Illinois and an MFA in Directing from Illinois State University. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild.