joins theater department
Award-winning stage director Douglas C. Wager, known nationally for the range and depth of his directorial talent, will join the faculty at the School of Communications and Theater this fall. He will serve as an associate professor in the theater department.
Wager is best known for his tenure as artistic director of Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., one of the country’s premier regional theaters, where he built his world-class reputation over the course of his 25 seasons with the company.
“Temple has a nationally respected reputation in the field for training gifted theater artists,” Wager said. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to the future strength and success of the program as a member of the theater department faculty.”
In addition to teaching courses in directing and creativity in the theater, Wager will direct the Philadelphia premiere of Alan Ayckbourn’s Taking Steps during Temple Theaters’ 2004-05 season. The show will open in the Randall Theater on April 14.
“We are very excited that Doug will be joining the faculty this fall. He brings a wealth of professional experience and talent to the department,” said Daniel P. Boylen, chair of the theater department. “We are lucky that he and his family have chosen to make Philadelphia home, and it is a fortunate synchronicity that we are in the position to hire Doug.”
Wager recently moved to Philadelphia to serve as director in residence for the Prince Music Theatre, where this past season he directed It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues and the world premiere of The Great Ostrovsky by Cy Coleman and Avery Corman.
At the Prince this fall, he will stage the world premiere of Gemini, The Musical by Albert Innaurato, a former Temple theater student, and Charles Gilbert. The show, based on Innaurato’s Broadway hit Gemini, takes place in the playwright’s native South Philadelphia.
Wager began his career as an intern at Arena Stage in 1974. He went on to become resident director before serving as artistic director for seven seasons from 1991 to 1998. During his tenure at Arena, Wager garnered 13 nominations and won three Helen Hayes Awards for outstanding director for Animal Crackers (1999), Long Day’s Journey into Night (1994) and Execution of Justice (1985).
His work has been seen both on and off Broadway, and regionally at the Mark Taper Forum, the Guthrie Theater, the Seattle Repertory Theater, the Pasadena Playhouse, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Yale Repertory Theatre, the Washington Opera and the Shakespeare Theatre. In 2002, Wager directed The Front Page at Chichester Festival Theatre in Chichester, England, opening its 40th anniversary season.
Before joining the Prince in 2003, Wager spent the previous four seasons working as a freelancer in Los Angeles, directing, writing and producing for film, television and theater.
Wager has considerable experience as an educator with guest teaching engagements at leading professional theater training programs across the country. He most recently taught directing and scene study at the University of California–San Diego, where he directed Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona. His other university teaching posts have included the New York University Graduate Acting Program and the Colorado College Summer Theater Institute.
-By Pat Allen