|Robert Chapel, Professor, Musical Theatre and Directing|
Ph.D. in Theatre, University of Michigan
Producing Artistic Director, Heritage Theatre Festival
Robert Chapel has been a professor in the UVA Department of Drama since 1990. He served as its chair from 1990-2005. In 1987, he began directing for the Heritage Theatre Festival, UVA's professional summer theatre, became its managing director in 1990 and producing artistic director in 1995, a position he still holds. 2008 will be his 21st summer with HRT. From 1999-2001, he chaired the Virginia 2020 Commission on the Fine and Performing Arts. In addition, he has served as executive director of the Virginia Film Festival. Since stepping down as chair in 2005, he has traveled to Russia three times, twice on Fulbright Grants, to teach workshops in musical theatre performance in Moscow (2005), to direct "Sweeney Todd" at the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts (2006) and in 2007, sponsored by the U.S. State Department, he took a musical revue of Broadway songs and toured with a small troupe to eight cities, giving nine performances in fourteen days, all over Russia, as part of the celebration of 200 years of diplomatic relations between Russia and the U.S. Since 2005, he has also served as guest director at the University of Tasmania's School of Visual and Performing Arts in Launceston, directing "She Stoops To Conquer," and has returned to his alma mater, the University of Michigan, twice, to direct "The Laramie Project" and, in 2007, to direct Arthur Miller's "Playing For Time" which was the opening production of U-M's new Arthur Miller Theatre. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Bob has directed over 110 theatrical productions and acted in over 60 more in New York, Los Angeles, regional, and university theatre. Prior to joining the UVA faculty, he taught and directed at San Diego State University (head of MFA Musical Theatre Program and recipient of an outstanding teaching award), New York University's Tisch School of the Arts (coordinating director of the MFA Musical Theatre Program), the University of Michigan (head of BFA Musical Theatre Program), and the University of Alabama (assistant professor). While in New York, he created and produced, with Brooks McNamara, a series of shows out of the Shubert Archive, culminating in "Shubert Alley" that was performed at the Players Club and the "Performathon" at Lincoln Center. In addition he has served as artistic director for Music Theatre North in Potsdam, NY. During an eight-year residence in Los Angeles, he served as vice-president for a film company, assisting in the production of three feature films shot in Australia, Canada, New York, and Los Angeles. During that time he also received the Drama-Logue Award for his direction of Genet's "The Balcony" at the Company of Angels Theatre. While in Los Angeles and New York, he also acted in a number of films, prime-time television programs and commercials, as well as theatre. Since coming to UVA, he has been awarded membership into the Raven and ODK honor societies. One of the things of which he is most proud is his creation of the Arts Dollars/Student Fee program that allows students to attend theatre, music, and art events at a much reduced cost. Bob's biography is included in Who's Who In America.
Office: Drama Building Room 208