Paul Kassel

Paul Kassel is the Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and a full professor in the School of Theatre and Dance at Northern Illinois University.  From July 2013 to July 2015 he was Interim Dean for School of Fine and Performing Arts at SUNY New Paltz, and Associate Dean for two years prior to that. Dean Kassel was a professor of Theatre Arts at SUNY New Paltz (2004-2016) and at Stony Brook University (1998-2004) where he taught acting, voice, movement, directing, and directed plays.  He was Head of Acting at Bradley University from 1993-1998.

Paul’s book, Acting: An Introduction to the Art and Craft of Playing, was published by Pearson in spring of 2006. A new book, The Actor’s Path: An Evolutionary Approach to the Art and Craft of Playing, is currently being revised. In addition to his books, Paul’s scholarly work includes several publications and many conference presentations on acting and performance theory.  Publications include “The Four Fundamental Verbs (Theatre Topics V9. N2) and “Random Acts”–an essay on applying an action-based approach to non-realistic theatre in Method Acting  Reconsidered: Theory, Practice, Future (St. Martin’s Press, 2000). He is the managing editor emeritus of The Players’ Journal,  an e-journal by and for actors and teachers of acting.

In New York City for eleven years as a professional actor, director, and writer, Paul worked off, and off-off Broadway, in regional theaters, and in several films and television shows. He has written four original plays and several adaptations (including an updated, musical version of Lysistrata for which he also wrote the lyrics and co-wrote the music).  Paul has maintained his professional career since entering academia, most recently performing the role of “Reverend Wilson” in a staged reading in New York City of a new musical, The Life and Hard Times of Hester Prynne (book and score by Stephen Cheslik-deMeyer, who wrote Lizzie).  He has acted and directed for Half Moon Theatre Company and River Valley Rep, two professional theatre companies in the Hudson Valley.  On Long Island, he was the founding artistic director of Asylum Theatre Company, for which he performed and directed.  He also devised the original play, What Remains—Long Island Voices of 9/11, which toured throughout the area.

Paul received his M.F.A. in Performance from the Florida State/Asolo Conservatory of Professional Actor Training. He is a member of Actors’ Equity Association  and the Screen Actors’ Guild/American Federation of Radio and Television Artists.  Professional associations include the International Conference of Fine Arts Deans, the Alliance of Arts in Research Universities, the National Conference of Arts Administrators, and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.