Educator & Artist


About Ashley


Dr. Ashley Lauren Hamilton is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of Denver and the Founder and Co-Director of the DU Prison Arts Initiative (DU PAI). Ashley's work is vast, ranging from teaching full time, creating theatre and performance in medium and maximum security prisons and directing and devising university and professional work in Colorado and New York. Ashley's research and scholarship focuses on the complexities of teaching and creating theatre in applied spaces, specifically prisons, and how this practice can be used as a resource for authentic dialogue, affectual experience, transformation and lasting rehabilitation. Ashley founded and launched the DU Prison Arts initiative in 2017. Ashley has a PhD in Applied/Educational Theatre from New York University where she focused on theatre for social change and devising theatre and wrote her dissertation Towards Rehabilitation: Devised Theatre as Liminal Transformer in a Women’s Maximum Security Prison. Ashley also has an MA from New York University in Applied/Educational Theatre, Theatre for Communities and a BFA in Performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Ashley has directed, devised and performed in diverse spaces: Off-Broadway, at NYU, in homeless shelters, in India and East Africa, in a dozen prisons, mental health facilities, at the University of Denver and with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) Off-Center. Ashley teaches courses at DU such as Theatre Imagination, Page to Stage, Theatre for Social Change, Interview-Based Theatre, Devising Theatre and more. Ashley is also in the process of becoming a registered drama therapist (RDT) and is married to artist and educator Clare Hammoor.