Gemma Whelan

UC Berkeley

Academically Talented Development Program, drama and writing instructor (1988 – 2000).
Extension, drama instructor (1986 – 1997).
Dramatic Arts Department, drama instructor (1982 – 1985).

  • “...dedication to working with a richly-diverse student population, including impressive skills in recruitment.” “She is unique. Working with her is enriching and inspiring.”

    Nina Hersch Gableko, Director, Academic Talent Development Program, UC Berkeley

  • “Students deeply appreciated the first-rate level of teaching.”

    Lynne Kaufman, Arts Program Director, UC Berkeley Extension

  • “...her abilities as an acting teacher or coach are remarkable.”

    William Oliver, Professor of Theatre, UC Berkeley

  • “Gemma is excellent: very perceptive, sensitive, and thoughtful.”

    Student evaluation

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

by Peter Nichols

Directed by Gemma Whelan

  • “A very moving production, capturing all the heartbreak of raising a severely retarded child, but also putting forth all the bittersweet humor of the piece.”

    John Fisher, Executive Director, Theatre Rhinoceros

  • “...a well crafted and taut production.” “...she put together a story that is compelling and ultimately unsettling.”

    The Daily Californian

  • “Gemma’s work with the actors was wonderfully honest, clear, and very moving.”

    Barbara Bosch, Professor and Chair, Department of Theatre, Hunter College, City University of New York


A black comedy in which a British couple struggle to save their marriage while trying to raise their daughter who has cerebral palsy.

Don Juan in Hell

by G.B. Shaw

Directed by Gemma Whelan


Juan, the Devil, the Commander, and Doña Ana debate the advantages of hell (art, beauty, love, pleasure) and heaven (rational discourse and promulgation of the Life Force). A delightful Shavian clashing of ideas.


by Slawomir Mrozek

Directed by Gemma Whelan


A satire on the nature of power and corruption. An intellectual and an activist find themselves inside a room where a huge hand instructs them to act out an elaborate dance of submission.

Picnic in the Battlefield

by Fernando Arabal

Directed by Gemma Whelan


A Chaplinesque comedy about a soldier at the front line who shares a Sunday picnic with his mother and father amidst the fighting.