[where I’ve changed the more modest third person of the entry in the English department web-site to the—I am afraid—less modest first person, but with apologies]:
I am Professor of English at the University of Florida and Visiting Professor of Jilin University in the People’s Republic of China, and at home both on the campus and the stage. Several times an award-winning teacher, I am the author of ten books on Shakespeare and the modern theatre, where my interests range from metadramatic to performance criticism, from the ways in which the “triple play” can be executed from study to stage to classroom, to accounts of my own experience as actor and director in professional, experimental, and university theatres. My books on Shakespeare include: When the Theatre Turns to Itself: The Aesthetic Metaphor in Shakespeare and Shakespeare’s Theatre of Presence: Language, Spectacle, and the Audience. Among books on the modern playwrights are: The Audience As Actor and Character, Pinter’s Odd Man Out: Staging and Filming “Old Times”, and Filming Beckett’s Television Plays: A Director’s Experience. My prize-winning book Beckett’s Theatres emerged from a production of Waiting for Godot that toured Florida’s ten state prisons. Two performance studies appeared in 2004: Directing Shakespeare: A Scholar Onstage and Staging Modern Playwrights: From Director’s Concept to Performance. Growing out of my work as Artist-in-Residence for the university hospital’s Arts in Medicine Program, my autobiographical A Fish in the Moonlight: Growing Up in the Bone Marrow Unit was published in 2008 by the Purdue University Press.
With a colleague in Sociology, I am currently writing a book examining the figure of Hitler in the movies. From that project has come a historical novel The Fuehrer and the Dove, about a German resistance group who kidnap and then substitute an actress for Hitler’s mistress Eva Braun, the impersonator then proceeding to undermine the dictator psychologically to hinder his conduct of the war. Also looking for an agent is One Wednesday in New York City, about very ordinary people living within a four-block area of Brooklyn who bump into each other’s lives (the “six degrees of separation” motif) and who all, on a given Wednesday, experience something of a Joycean life-altering “epiphany.”
On stage I have directed works as wide-ranging as The Comedy of Errors, Bogosian’s Talk Radio, Stoppard’s Dirty Linen / New-Found-Land, Brecht’s Galileo, Wasserstein’s Uncommon Women and Others, Pinter’s The Lover and No Man’s Land, the Brecht-Weill The Threepenny Opera, and Cabaret. As an actor, I have in recent years appeared in the plays of Beckett, Williams, Shakespeare, Pinter, Shaw, Stoppard, Churchill, Wilde, and Shepard. In the style of Saturday-Night-Live and In Living Color, my company, Theatre Strike Force, engaged in experimental, political, and improvisational theatre. . Later, I joined the improv group, “Yes, But . . . !” I have also written two original plays, Black Voices (a collage of speeches, writings, poetry, and music by African-Americans) and (as co-author) More Letters to the Editor. More recently I have directed Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and productions of Shakespeare’s King Lear, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and The Merchant of Venice.
I took my BA from Princeton University in 1960, and my MA (1962) and PhD in English (1965) from Harvard University. I taught at the University of Illinois (1965-1969) and at Boston University (1969-1972) before coming to the University of Florida.