Professor of Theatre

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Terry Dean is a Professor of Theatre, and from 2011-2016, he served as Director of the School of Theatre and Dance.   Prior to arriving at JMU, Terry was Director of the Theatre and Dance Program at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA.  Terry’s Ph.D. is in theatre history, theory, and literature from Indiana University. He earned his M.A. from Temple University in philosophy and his bachelor’s degree from Bradley University.  Terry has taught a variety of courses in directing, theatre history, dramatic literature, and acting.  As a director and acting instructor, Terry specializes in the Meisner technique and has completed Larry Silverberg’s certificate program for teaching the Meisner approach. 

In addition to his teaching and administrative work, Terry remains active as a director, working with a wide range of literary styles and modes of performance.  Terry has worked consistently on new play development as a director, dramaturg, actor, and writer/adapter.  His experience facilitating and directing devised theatre and collaborating on new works includes a number of community-based performances, performance art with Judy Chicago, dance theatre, and a musical adaptation of the medieval drama Everyman featuring the music of the Indigo Girls.  He has also written and directed for the camera, including a video on roommate relationships for  Other selected directing credits: Spring Awakening, Clybourne Park, Machinal, The Westing Game, The Food Chain, Macbeth, Proof, Last Train to Nibroc, Antony and Cleopatra, Nickel and Dimed, Side by Side by Sondheim, Anton in Show Business, The Return to Morality, The Dining Room, American Buffalo, and Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune.  

Terry is a past Secretary of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) and is a past Chair of ATHE’s Theatre History Focus Group.  His publications include a chapter on “stunt runners” in Play & Performance: How Institutions Structure Ludic Performance (Routledge Press 2015), entries in the Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers, 1860-1960, a chapter in The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines (co-written with Dorothy Chansky), and book reviews for Theatre Annual, Theatre Journal and Theatre Topics. Terry is also a past Book Review editor for Theatre Topics.  His research specializations include U.S. theatre and drama, community-based performance, gender studies, cognitive science, performance theory, and aesthetics.  He has presented multiple papers, chaired panels, and participated in seminars at ASTR, ATHE, MATC, and the Comparative Drama Conference.

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