Luigi Salerni

Professor Emeritus



MFA, University of Oregon


Luigi Salerni is the recipient of multiple artistic and teaching awards including three Council of Excellence in Teaching and Learning Awards (CETL) at UIC and, most recently, the Award for Excellence in Teaching (AET) in 2012—one of only four across the entire university. He directs annually and teaches courses in Directing, Playwriting, Contemporary Performance, and Collaboration. His professional artistic life has been dedicated to the nurturing and development of contemporary actors, writers, and directors.

Formerly Artistic Director of The Cricket Theatre in Minneapolis—a professional company dedicated to the creation and performance of new American plays, Mr. Salerni led the theatre to receive more Theatre Critics Circle Awards in all aspects of performance and production than any other theatre in the region.

As stage director, Mr. Salerni's work has been seen in theatres throughout the United States, Europe, and Africa including Denver Theatre Center, A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle, Wisdom Bridge Theatre in Chicago, Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Focus Theatre in Dublin, Theatre of the Open Eye in New York, the Dallas Theatre Center, and the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia, among many others.

In addition to teaching and directing at UIC, Mr. Salerni's special interest is in global educational and collaborative artistic partnerships. His translation of Federico Garcia Lorca's dreamplay Asi que pasen cinco años (When Five Years Pass) premiered in Los Angeles at the international arts festival "Theatre, Culture, and the Arts in Lorca's Spain." Partnering with Cuban-American painter Juan Gonzalez and Argentine-American composer Gustavo Leone, he recreated that acclaimed production with student performers at UIC.  He served as dramaturge for the new opera, Propeller: The Urge to Fly, premiering in Minneapolis in 2010, and completed developing a new translation and adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s masterwork, Caucasian Chalk Circle.  He is currently the editorial consultant for two contemporary novels by Marisha Chamberlain the award-winning poet, playwright, librettist, and novelist.  Their on-going artistic partnership also includes the current development of a new folk opera, Amoskeag, in collaboration with composer Marc Mellits.

Courses Taught

THTR 423 - Playwriting
THTR 280 - Practicum in Performance
THTR 472 - Investigative Collaboration
THTR 470 - Contemporary Performance Techniques