Kate Busselle (She/Her/Hers)

Kate Busselle

Kate is Assistant Professor of Movement, Intimacy, and Violence at the University of Oklahoma. She completed her Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Missouri in 2019. Kate has two research agendas: theatrical violence and theatrical intimacy. Her dissertation, "Killing 'Woman': Gender and Violence in Selected Works by Sheila Callaghan and Marisa Wegrzyn," examined how performances of violence committed by the characters within Callaghan's and Wegrzyn's works challenge heteronormative notions of gender.

Kate is the founder of Heartland Intimacy Design & Training, an intimacy training company which offers academic, accessible, and affordable intimacy training entirely online. She has taught several workshops on staging intimacy, as well as designing intimacy for several productions. Her specific area of expertise is staging sexual trauma and assault and how to assist actors in leaving these moments behind in the theatre. Recently, Kate designed the intimacy for the world premiere production of Gertrude and Claudius by Mark St. Germain at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater. 

Kate was the co-founder and research and resource manager for Theatrical Intimacy Education. As a violence and intimacy designer, her work primarily focuses on troubleshooting difficult moments as well as self-care for artists who have experienced sexual trauma. Recently, Kate designed the violence and intimacy for Good Kids by Naomi Iizuka, which was selected to perform at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region 5 in 2017. Her experiences in this production were published in Fight Master entitled “When the Problem is Personal: Working on Naomi Iizuka’s Good Kids as a Sexual Assault Survivor.” Kate will be staging the violence and intimacy in University of Missouri’s upcoming production of The Rimers of Eldritch by Lanford Wilson. Kate also staged the intimacy in Father Comes Home from the Wars Parts 1, 2, and 3 by Suzan-Lori Parks at MU and the regional premiere of Kelly Lusk’s (a love story) at University of Central Florida when she was a Master’s student.

Kate is an Actor Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD) with certifications in unarmed combat, rapier & dagger, quarterstaff, single sword, broadsword, broadsword and shield, knife, and theatrical firearms safety. She is also a member of the Association of Movement Theatre Educators (ATME), Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE).

Kate is also a director, primarily directing new student-written work, play reading festivals, and regional semi-professional theatre. She is an Equity Membership Candidate (EMC) with the Actors Equity Association (AEA).

Skill Proficiency History

Date Weapon Location Grade

Rural Renewal

May 20, 2024 Unarmed Murray, Kentucky Recommended Pass
May 20, 2024 Broadsword Murray, Kentucky Recommended Pass
May 20, 2024 Broadsword and Shield Murray, Kentucky Recommended Pass
May 20, 2024 Quarterstaff Murray, Kentucky Recommended Pass


Mar 19, 2023 Rapier and Dagger Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Recommended Pass
Mar 19, 2023 Small Sword Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Basic Pass

Lonestar Smash Renewals 2022

Dec 11, 2022 Knife Dallas, Texas Recommended Pass

LoneStar Smash 2021 SPR

Nov 7, 2021 Single Sword Dallas, Texas Recommended Pass

The Stage Combat Workshop at LA Tech 2018

Mar 31, 2018 Quarterstaff Ruston, Louisiana Basic Pass

2017 NSCW - AACW & Interns

Jul 7, 2017 Unarmed Winston-Salem, North Carolina Recommended Pass
Jul 7, 2017 Rapier and Dagger Winston-Salem, North Carolina Basic Pass
Jul 7, 2017 Single Sword Winston-Salem, North Carolina Basic Pass
Jul 7, 2017 Broadsword and Shield Winston-Salem, North Carolina Basic Pass
Jul 7, 2017 Knife Winston-Salem, North Carolina Basic Pass
Jul 7, 2017 Broadsword Winston-Salem, North Carolina Basic Pass

NSCW AAC Theatrical Firearms Safety Certification

Jun 24, 2017 Firearm Winston Salem, North Carolina Recommended Pass

The Tourist Trap

Feb 8, 2015 Rapier and Dagger Orlando, Florida Recommended Pass
Feb 8, 2015 Unarmed Orlando, Florida Recommended Pass

University of Central Florida

Apr 30, 2014 Broadsword Orlando , Florida Basic Pass
Apr 30, 2014 Single Sword Orlando , Florida Basic Pass

Michigan State University

Apr 24, 2013 Rapier and Dagger East Lansing, Michigan Basic Pass
Apr 24, 2013 Quarterstaff East Lansing, Michigan Basic Pass
Apr 24, 2013 Unarmed East Lansing, Michigan Recommended Pass