Aileen A. Hendricks Couvillion, PhD, is renowned as an actor, director and theater educator with a career spanning more than 45 years. As a child, she wanted to become the world’s greatest actress. Against the advice of her father, she auditioned for a repertory company on Long Island, New York, and began a career in touring productions. Dr. Hendricks Couvillion initially pursued an education at the University of Texas at Austin, completing undergraduate coursework. She continued her studies at Texas A&M University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English and theater in 1971 and a Master of Arts in English and theater in 1974. She subsequently obtained a PhD in English, speech and theater at Louisiana State University in 1988.
From 1976 to 1977, Dr. Hendricks Couvillion worked as a creative drama workshop administrator funded by a grant from the Texas Theater Council. She further flourished at Louisiana State University as a graduate assistant in the speech department from 1978 to 1981, a speech instructor from 1981 to 1983, an English teacher from 1983 to 1984, and a theater and English research and teaching assistant from 1984 to 1987. Dr. Hendricks Couvillion additionally served as an instructor in the speech department at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana, from 1988 to 1989, and an assistant professor of communications and theater at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, from 1989 to 1990.
Teaching speech and drama at Sherwood and Glasgow Middle Schools in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, from 1990 to 1991, Dr. Hendricks Couvillion excelled at Southern University and A&M College as an instructor of speech and theater from 1991 to 1994, an assistant professor from 1995 to 1999, a tenured associate professor from 1999 to 2017 and a tenured professor from 2007 to 2013. In addition to her career in academia, she has written and performed dozens of one-woman and ensemble cast productions with a thematic focus on women’s stories throughout Louisiana. Active in social justice and women’s justice initiatives, Dr. Hendricks Couvillion was honored among Southern University’s Women in History Program’s Voices of Freedom in 2009.
In 2018, Dr. Hendricks Couvillion presented “Using Women’s Theater for Social Change” at the Justice Alliance Conference of the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge, directed “Women on Fire” by Irene O’Garden at the Theater Baton Rouge Studio, performed as Lynne in “Love, Loss, and What I Wore” by Nora and Delia Ephron with the Magnolia Theater Company and in readings of “Sirens” from “Ulysses” by James Joyce with the Irish Club of Baton Rouge at the City Park Gallery, and taught an acting workshop for the Women’s Council of Greater Baton Rouge’s Week-Long Celebration of Women. Most recently, between 2018 and 2019, she performed in a one-woman show, “Haircrownicles” by Medina Perine, at Red Shoes in Baton Rouge.
In light of her achievements, Dr. Hendricks Couvillion was given the Women and Theatre Service Award for 20 Years of Membership and Five Years as Treasurer in 2004. In 2006, she received the Working Interfaith Network Service Award for 11 Years as Secretary of the Board of Directors, the Most Distinguished Board Member Award from the Working Interfaith Network and the Humanitarian Award from the Baton Rouge Council on Human Relations. She is additionally the recipient of numerous research project grants, and was selected for inclusion in the third edition of Who’s Who in Entertainment and several editions of Who’s Who in the South and Southwest and Who’s Who in the World.