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Cathy O'Dell

Teaching Associate Professor, Acting and Theatre Appreciation


MFA – West Virginia University
BA – Fairmont State College


Professor Cathy O’Dell teaches Introduction to the Theater, Acting and Vocal Technique. She received her teaching certificate in the Michael Chekhov acting technique in 2009. She was the vocal /dialect coach for WVU’s production Vinegar Tom and Blithe Spirit.


Professor O’Dell trained with Joanna Merlin, Ted Pugh (HB studio), Ragnar Freidank, and Slava Kokorin, among others in the Michael Chekhov acting technique and Slava Kokorin in the Stanislavski acting technique. She also received Monologue and Audition training from Joanna Merlin. (Broadway, film and television actor and casting director for Harold Prince) Professor O’Dell has received vocal training from Kristin Linklater (Linklater and Advanced Shakespeare), Andrea Haring (Linklater) and Sarah Kane (Rudolf Steiner.)


Professor O’Dell has acted professionally at the American Contemporary Theater Festival. She has also acted and directed at the The Las Vegas Little Theatre, The West Virginia Public Theatre, M.T. Pockets Theatre, West Virginia University and Fairmont State University. She has appeared in national commercials, training films and industrials. She also works as a voice-over artists and can be heard on numerous commercials, industrials and websites. She recently voiced the character of Julia Pierpont in the PBS production of The Road to Statehood. Professor O’Dell was also a featured actor in TLC's production Night Visitors. She has acted in PBS produced films and training films for the WVU School of Medicine.


Professor O'Dell portrays Helen Vicks on season four of the HBO/Cinemax series, Banshee.  Other film roles include Madeline Usher in Edgar Alan Poe’s Requiem for the Damned, Taylor’s mom in 1863 and Woozy in The Baggage Claim opposite Tom Savini and directed by Academy Award nominated and Golden Globe winner Irene Miracle.


She is the author of Introduction to Theatre, an electronic book for Introduction to the Theatre courses. The publication includes interactive exercises that she designed in hopes to keep theatre interesting and “alive” for both majors and non-majors.