Monica Hayes is a professor of theatre and Head of Performance at The University of Southern Mississippi. She is a member of Actors Equity Association and a former member of British Actors Equity - Foreign Entertainers Unit. Hayes has worked professionally as an actor and director in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Boston. In Great Britain, Hayes worked in London’s West End (at the Comedy and the Vaudeville) and Off-West End (at Hampstead and the Kings Head) and in the London Fringe (at ETC, Camden) on productions that earned a Time Out Magazine Award, a Charingdon Fringe Award, and a nomination for the Evening Standard Best Comedy Award. She has worked eight years at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. These productions earned Hit List and Critic’s Choice recognition as well as three Fringe First Awards. All three of these transferred to London and another was picked up for a UK tour of 28 cities in Great Britain.
She has studied with famous teachers Uta Hagen and Patrick Tucker as well as associates of the Royal Shakespeare Company, The National Theatre, and Shakespeare & Company. She has served the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival as a production respondent, Irene Ryan Acting Competition respondent, and as a member of the regional selection committee. She has won the KCACTF Teaching Artist Award, the Excellence in Direction Award, and the National Partners-American Theatre Award as outstanding coach for classical acting. Her acting students have been national finalists for the Kennedy Center three times in the last 10 years and regional finalists more than two dozen times.
Hayes received an M.F.A. in Acting from Illinois State University and a B.A. in Acting and Directing from Northern Illinois University.