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William Fisher

Professor - Theatre Butler Theatre - JCA
William Fisher

Why I love theatre.

 “Whenthe actor stands up, it is humanity standing up.”  Étienne Decroux

Theatre exploreshow to fill space and time and requires us to have deep reasons for being onstage, for standing, speaking and listening.  While thrilling and delighting us, it can be ameans to discover, reveal and challenge who and what we are as human beings,and to try to figure out how to be in the world.

Why I love Butler:

The BA in theatre within the JordanCollege of the Arts at Butler University offers a balance of artistic rigor andbreadth of learning. It attracts serious, motivated, generous students. 

Butler Theatre allows me to direct worksof great playwrights such as Caryl Churchill, Becket, Moliere, Brecht, ThorntonWilder, to devised work such as Lunar Revolution 2.0, and new productions ofThe Open Theatre’s Terminal.  At Butler I have been able to develop off-campusimmersion opportunities in London, New York, while pursuing my own practice asa director internationally. 


Why I love teaching:
I believe in the pursuit of knowledge as a value in and of itself, based inpractice and hope.
Through teaching/learning I seekto be responsive to the present moment and to profound changes in our culture, ourwork and our world.

Current Projects:

Over the next three years, I am preparing to direct and devise productions in NYC, Iceland, and Croatia and will extend the work to include France, Asia and Latin America. As a teacher I continue to build off-campus study programs in London and NYC (so far). Butler Theatre 2016-17 season, I am preparing to direct three productions: A reading of Kurt Vonnegut’s Happy Birthday Wanda June; the Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s local reading of It Can’t Happen Here; and mainstage productions of Chamber Music by Arthur Kopit; and Love and Information by Caryl Churchill.

William Fisher joined Butler Theatre after years at Ohio University as head of the undergraduate performance program and Director of the School ofTheater.  He served on the faculty ofCalArts, UC Irvine, and UNC Chapel Hill, as well as teaching at the Marcel Marceau School, in his own studio, and at the Étienne Decroux School in Paris.

William was trained by Etienne Decroux and served as his assistant inParis.  After leaving Paris he foundedZeta Collective, a company and venue in downtown Los Angeles that focused onnew performance work and training.  His research and practice have beensupported though the US Information Service guest artist program, the SorosFoundation through the CDU Zagreb, The Puffin Foundation, the National/Statepartnership (CAC/NEA), Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, and the USDepartment of Education (Title IV).  In1998, William began training with Anne Bogart and SITI Company and maintains arelationship to that work and company. His professional work as a directorhas been presented at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), TheDubrovnik Festival, The Vienna Theatre Festival, and Kampnagel (Hamburg).

Other international credits have included serving as a master teacherand festival coordinator at the MKFM - the International Festival of YouthTheatre in Pula, Croatia, and directing the Global Theatre Institute studyprograms (Croatia and London 1997 – 2007, New York City 2008-2010.) He was asite reporter for the NEA Theater Program, served on the National MovementTheatre Association board of directors, edited Movement Theatre Quarterly, William was a site reporter for theNational Endowment for the Arts Theater Program, served on the NationalMovement Theatre Association board of directors, edited Movement TheatreQuarterly, and hisarticle Struggle and Irony / Ashes andFlames appears in Words on Decroux, (Thomas Leabhart, editor, 1994). In 2004 with his with his late colleagueand friend, the Nigerian playwright and poet Dr. Esiaba Irobi, he organized PerformingPeace, an international symposium under the aegis of the Baker PeaceConference at Ohio University. 

In 2009, William was a Fulbright Teaching and Research Fellow at theIcelandic Academy of the Arts (Reykjavik) Theatre Department in the Theory andPractice Program, with additional research in Oslo, Norway.  Since coming to Butler, he directed anddevised productions including Small Lives / Big Dreams, The Exonerated with theHeartland Actors Repertory Theatre (AEA), SEVEN,Tartuffe, a new iteration of the Open Theatre’s Terminal, Mad Forest, Our Town, LunarRevolution 2.0 (devised).  Hedirected Freud’s Last Session and TheLyons at the Phoenix Theatre.

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