The Ronald A. Willis Visiting Scholar/Artist Fund was established in March, 2015 to honor and memorialize the contributions of master teacher, director, playwright, adjudicator, and author Ronald A. Willis, University of Kansas Professor of Theatre. The interest from the fund will be used to bring master teachers to the Department of Theatre; specifically, the funds will be used for visiting scholar/artists who in teaching and practice contribute to the growth of students in the Department of Theatre as well as to the artistry of the University Theatre production program.
As a consummate scholar/artist, Professor Willis moved fluently between the worlds of theatrical production and theatre scholarship. He would bring the same sense of exploration, integrity, artistry and craft to both his scholarly and artistic activities. Moreover, his work was grounded in love for the art of the theatre, for excellent playwriting, and for stagecraft that served the highest ideals of dramatic storytelling. In the selection of recipients of this fund, the Department will strive to honor these aesthetic values and respect the holistic approach of theatre scholarship and artistry represented by Professor Willis’ career.