Peter Zazzali

Assistant Professor
Artistic Director of Kansas Repertory Theatre
Primary office:
785-864-6893
Murphy Hall
Room 214B


Dr. Zazzali is an internationally recognized scholar/artist who teaches acting, directing, and directs for the Department of Theatre. His research areas include acting theory, actor training, sociology of theatre, and the history of the US not-for-profit theatre, all of which constitute his current book project examining the role of BFA/MFA acting schools relative to the professional theatre. His publications appear in such journals as Theatre Topics, Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, PAJ, CIBS, The European Legacy, Western European Stages, and Theatre Journal. His book, Acting in the Academy: The History of Professional Actor Training in US Higher Education was released by Routledge in April of 2016.

In addition to KU, Dr. Zazzali has taught a wide range of courses at institutions such as the Western Australian Academy of the Performing Arts, American Musical and Dramatic Academy, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Colby College, CUNY, and Cornell University. A member of Actors Equity (AEA), the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), he has directed and/or acted in more than 100 productions in the professional theatre, including work with such prestigious organizations as the Acting Company, the Guthrie, PCPA Theaterfest, George Street Playhouse, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and the New Jersey, Texas, and Utah Shakespearean Festivals.

Teaching Interests

  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Theatre History

Research

My work as a scholar/artist includes practical work as an actor and director, as well as scholarly publications and participation at major conferences in the field of theatre and performance, and workshops on both national and international levels.

Research Interests

  • Acting
  • Actor Training
  • Directing
  • Theatre History
  • Sociology of Theatre

Selected Publications

Zazzali, P. (2016). Acting in the Academy: The History of Professional Actor Training in US Higher Education , New York, NY: Routledge Press (Taylor and Francis Group).

Zazzali, P. (2016). Starstruck! The Phenomenological Affect of Celebrity on Broadway. Journal of American Drama and Theatre.

Zazzali, P., & Klein, J. (2015). Towards Revising Undergraduate Theatre Curriculum. Theatre Topics, 25(3), 259-274.

Zazzali, P. (2015). Introduction . Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism , 29(2).

Zazzali, P., & Meier, P. (2014). Trust and Communication in the Director/Voice Coach Collaboration: A Case Study of Much Ado About Nothing at the University of Kansas . Voice and Speech Review , 8(3), 250-60.

Zazzali, P. (2014). An Examination of the Actor's Double-Consciousness Through Stanislavski's Conceptualization of 'Artistic Truth' . Stanislavski Studies ,(4), 47-65.

Zazzali, P. (2014). We're All in this Together, Right? How Kansas City Actor's Theatre Uses a Collective Ethos to Keep Its Actors and Audiences Happy. American Theatre , 31(5), 34-37.

Zazzali, P. (2013). The Role of Theatre in Society: a Comparative Analysis of the Socio-cultural Theories of Brecht, Benjamin, and Adorno. The European Legacy, 18(6), 685-697.

Zazzali, P. (2013). Actor Training in New York City . Performing Arts Journal, 35(1).

Zazzali, P. (2010). Let Our Freak Flags Fly: Shrek the Musical and the Branding of Diversity. Theatre Journal, 62(2), 151-172.

Selected Work

Director, The Motherf*cker With The Hat, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, 06/30/2017

Director, Pooter McGraw Is Not Dead Party, KU Theatre, Lawrence, KS, 11/30/2016

Director, The Fever, Actors Repertory Theatre Luxembourg, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg, 10/31/2016

Director, Angel Street, Kansas Repertory Theatre, Lawrence, KS, 06/30/2016

Director, Waiting for Godot, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, 05/31/2016

Director, Durang/Durang, Guthrie Theatre/University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 04/30/2016

Director, The Good Doctor, Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Perth, Australia, 07/31/2015

Director, Scenes at the Inge House, William Inge Center, Independence, KS, 03/31/2015

Director, Grace, or the Art of Climbing, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ, 02/28/2015

Artist in Residence, 12/31/1969 - 01/31/2015 Acting Shakespeare.

Director, The Comedy of Errors, Shakespeare, Kansas Repertory Theatre, Lawrence, KS, 06/01/2014 - 07/31/2014

Director, The Frenchy Bernadone Show, John Gronbeck-Tedesco, Kansas City Fringe Festival, Kansas City, KS, 05/01/2014 - 07/31/2014

Director, Tybalt and Mercutio Live!, Walt Vail, Manhattan Repertory Theatre, Theatre Row, NYC, 01/01/2014 - 04/30/2014

Director, The Liar, (David Ives adaptation of Corneille’s original), Texas Shakespeare Festival, Kilgore, TX, 06/30/2012

Director, Romeo and Juliet, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ, 01/31/2012

Director, An Evening of Tennessee Williams One-Acts, American Musical and Dramatic Academy, NYC, 03/31/2011

Director, Deer Season, NJ Repertory Theatre, Long Branch, NJ, 10/31/2006

Director, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Guthrie Theatre/University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 04/30/2006

Director, The Underpants, Shadowlawn Summerstage, Long Branch, NJ, 07/31/2005

Director, The Turn of the Screw, (recognized by the Asbury Park Press as runner-up for ‘best professional theatre in NJ for 2004’), Shadowlawn Summerstage, Long Branch, NJ, 07/31/2004

Director, The Lone Prairie, NJ Repertory Theatre, Long Branch, NJ, 02/28/2004

Director, Gemini, Shadowlawn Summerstage, Long Branch, NJ, 07/31/2003

Actor, American Dreams Lost and Found, NYC, 04/30/2003

Actor, As You Like It, NYC, 04/30/2003

Actor, The Tempest, NYC, 04/30/2003

Director, Angel Street, Shadowlawn Summerstage, Long Branch, NJ, 06/30/2002

Director, Andrea, Manhattan Theater Source, NYC, 04/30/2002

Director, Dial M for Murder, Shadowlawn Summerstage, Long Branch, NJ, 06/30/2001

Actor, Tamburlaine, NYC, 04/30/2001

Actor, Merry Wives of Windsor, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Cedar City, UT, 08/31/2000

Actor, The Cherry Orchard, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Cedar City, UT, 08/31/2000

Actor, Harvey, Shakespearean Theatre of Maine, Monmouth, ME, 08/31/1999

Actor, Romeo and Juliet, Shakespearean Theatre of Maine, Monmouth, ME, 08/31/1999

Actor, The Comedy of Errors, Shakespearean Theatre of Maine, Monmouth, ME, 08/31/1999

Actor, The Lion in Winter, Shakespearean Theatre of Maine, Monmouth, ME, 08/31/1999

Actor, King John, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Cedar City, UT, 08/31/1998

Actor, Romeo and Juliet, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Cedar City, UT, 08/31/1998

Actor, The Taming of the Shrew, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Cedar City, UT, 08/31/1998

Actor, The Winters Tale, Shakespearean Festival of NJ, Madison, NJ, 08/31/1996

Actor, Othello, Portland, ME, 12/31/1995

Selected Presentations

Zazzali, P. (11/30/2016). Acting Down Under: The Socio-politics of Australian Actor Training. American Society for Theatre Research . Minneapolis, MN

Zazzali, P. (10/31/2016). Approaches to Psychophysical Acting . Actors Repertory Theatre Luxembourg . Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Zazzali, P. (08/31/2016). The Actor’s Warm-up: Preparing the Performer’s Mind and Body for Theatrical Work and Play. Association for Theatre in Higher Education . Chicago, IL

Zazzali, P. (08/31/2016). Theorizing Practice: How Does Practice Facilitate Research and Research Guide Practice? Association for Theatre in Higher Education . Chicago, IL

Zazzali, P. (06/30/2016). De-familiarizing the Self: The Function of Consciousness in Brechtian Acting. International Federation for Theatre Research . Stockholm, Sweden

Zazzali, P. (02/28/2016). Acting in the Academy: The History of Actor Training in US Higher Education . University of Lincoln . Lincoln, UK

Zazzali, P. (02/28/2016). Stanislavsky's Legacy in America . Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance . London, UK

Zazzali, P. (01/31/2016). Embodying Shakespeare's Language . International Theatre School of Ireland (Gaiety School). Dublin, Ireland

Zazzali, P. (11/30/2015). Earning Promotion: The Material Realities Facing Pre-Tenured Theatre Faculty . American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR). Portland, OR

Zazzali, P. (07/31/2015). Acting Modern Drama: an Integrated Pedagogy Steeped in Sociocultural History and Artistic Praxis. Association for Theater in Higher Education (ATHE). Montreal, Canada

Zazzali, P. (07/31/2015). Remembering to Listen: the Relationship Between Director and Voice/Dialect Coach/Designer. ATHE. Montreal, Canada

Zazzali, P. (03/31/2015). O for a Muse!: Deploying a Genealogy of Acting Theory/Practice to Access Inspiration . Mid-America Theatre Conference. Kansas City, MO

Zazzali, P. (11/01/2014 - 11/30/2014). Now Playing New Media: Examining the Tangled Relationship Between Digital Technology and Stage Actors Through the Lens of the Spectacular. ASTR. Baltimore, MD


Click for University Theatre production website

Upcoming Events
Connect with the Department of Theatre

FacebookTwitterYouTubeInstagram

KU Today
The first studio art class at KU began in 1869
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times