Gemma Whelan

Evergreen Valley College

Full Professor and head of the Theatre Department (2005 – 2008).

  • “Gemma is one of the most dynamic and engaging theater arts educators I have had the pleasure of working with. Her ability to bring the best out of her students is truly inspirational. She is the consummate professional whose creativity and resourcefulness shines through.”

    David Wain Coon, President, Evergreen Valley College

  • “Gemma Whelan has an authentic and deeply held commitment to diversity and multicultural theater.” “She is an extraordinary person and faculty member.”

    Rosa Perez, Chancellor, Evergreen Valley College

Gemma Whelan, Alejandro Nuño (student, actor in “Anna”), and Luis Valdez (Founding Artistic Director, El Teatro Campesino).
Improvisational theatre class.
  • “Gemma is a superlative instructor, a student advocate, and a disciplined leader. She thrives on working with individuals from every social, economic, and ethnic background, and has an appreciation for and is a promoter of cultural pluralism and diversity. The sum total of her efforts has contributed greatly to a campus-wide rekindling of interest in the college Theatre Arts program.”

    Sterling Warner, English Professor, Evergreen Valley College

Anna in the Tropics

by Nilo Cruz

Directed by Gemma Whelan

  • “Gemma’s direction illustrated her ability to inspire even very inexperienced performers to illuminate a challenging text. I spoke with the cast and could see they had been transformed by the experience.”

    Virginia Reed, Director

  • “Two of the men in Anna in the Tropics walked into her office two years ago and started a journey that helped them find voice, develop character strength, and become role models for others. This was their gift from Gemma Whelan, an extraordinary person and faculty member.”

    Rosa Perez, Chancellor, Evergreen Valley College


The lives of Cuban cigar workers in Florida in 1929 are dramatically changed when they intersect with Tolstoy’s romantic novel Anna Karenina. The first play by a Latino to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the first Broadway play to have an all Latino cast.


by Jeannie Barroga

Directed by Gemma Whelan

Gemma Whelan, playwright Jeannie Barroga, and the cast of Walls.


When the winning designer for the Vietnam War Memorial was revealed to be a young Asian-American woman, Maya Lin, the selection raised a storm of controversy and launched its own mini war. Walls explores this turbulent time in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.

All in the Timing

by David Ives

Directed by Gemma Whelan


A collection of short comedic plays focusing on linguistic dexterity, wordplay, philosophizing, and miscommunications in romantic relationships.