Laura MacDonald is Assistant Professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University where she teaches courses in theatre history, dramaturgy and American Studies. Prior to joining MSU, she taught American Studies at the University of Groningen (the Netherlands) and musical theatre at the University of Portsmouth (UK). Her teaching draws on theatre industry engagement to make transparent for students the real-world applications of their knowledge and skills. She seeks to create opportunities for students to use their research skills to expand historiography, and to amplify the achievements of underrepresented artists.

With Ryan Donovan, she edited The Routledge Companion to Musical Theatre (2023) and with William A. Everett, she edited The Palgrave Handbook of Musical Theatre Producers (2017). Her articles have appeared in journals such as L’Annuaire théâtral, Comparative Drama, The Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Performance Research, Studies in Musical Theatre, Theatre Research International, and Theatre Topics. Her book project explores the longevity of Broadway musicals, from West Side Story to Dear Evan Hansen. She also researches the circulation of musical theatre throughout Europe and East Asia. From 2021-2024 she served as Vice President for Conferences for the American Society for Theatre Research. At MSU she is the East Asia Representative on the Asian Studies Center Advisory Council. MacDonald earned her doctorate in American Studies from the University of East Anglia, and master’s degrees in International and European Politics (Edinburgh) and Drama (Toronto).