In Memoriam: Ann Kilkelly, 1946-2023

Ann Kilkelly, professor emerita of theatre and women’s and gender studies at Virginia Tech, died on September 9. She was 76 years old and suffered from dementia.

Dr. Kilkelly was a graduate of the University of Minnesota. She went on to earn a master’s degree and a Ph.D. at the University of Utah.

A scholar of jazz-tap dancing, history, performance, and gender studies, Dr. Kilkelly began her academic career at the University of Kentucky. From 1983 to 1991, she taught at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. In 1991, she was appointed a professor of theatre and women’s and gender studies at Virginia Tech. She remained on the Virginia Tech faculty until her retirement in 2016.

In 2008, Dr. Kilkelly won the American Tap Dance Foundation’s “Tap Preservation Award”, given annually to an “outstanding individual in the field for superior advancement of tap dance through presentation and preservation.” She was co-author of Performing Communities: Grassroots Ensemble Theaters Deeply Rooted in Eight U.S. Communities (New Village Press, 2006), in which she documented the work of Roadside Theatre and other grassroots groups.

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