Sr. Judith Royer has had a 40-year career as a professor of theater and in February was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. She is also a St. Joseph sister and director of the CSJ Center for Reconciliation and Justice, established at Loyola Marymount University in 2012 to host forums on social justice topics and be a resource for education and reflective action.
Or is it the other way around? It doesn't matter, she says: Vocation and career are too intertwined.
In addition to having taught theater at LMU for 40 years, Royer, 73, is director of the Playwrights Center Stage, which develops new plays, has directed over 35 revivals and 40 original scripts in the United States and the United Kingdom and has worked as producer, director and dramaturge with development programs sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, Playwrights Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum, and Theatre Gallery in Los Angeles, where she was founder and former artistic director. In 2012, she won the Milan Stitt Award for Outstanding Teacher of Playwriting from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.
Most people wouldn't naturally see a link between religious vocation and theater. What aspects of vocation do you see within the theater world, and how does that make you better at all you do in theater?
Why would you assume there is a separation? If we have a theology of the incarnation ... then all things are holy and transform the community. So I have a lot of trouble with people who say there are distinctions.
I see no distinction between my work and my religious commitment at all. It's all rooted in the incarnation -- people who are religious should be embracing everything in the world and transforming it into a better place.