College of Visual and Performing Arts

Faculty Successes in Theatre

The faculty are the greatest resource of the Department of Theatre. They design and deliver the curriculum, and mentor and advise students while establishing regional, national and international reputations for their expertise and contributions to the profession. The Theatre faculty earned their credentials from premiere institutions and were selected to teach at IPFW for their extraordinary abilities as artists, performers and scholars, and for their proven abilities to communicate effectively with students.

The Theatre faculty number 6 full-time and 1 half-time professor, augmented by 5 part-time faculty.  This highly qualified and experienced faculty teaches interactively in small classes and through individualized instruction and mentoring.  All classes are taught by accomplished professionals; there are no graduate assistants teaching in the arts at IPFW. VPA faculty have garnered wide recognition for their research and creative endeavor in specialized disciplines and presentational venues.  We invite you to explore a sampling of recent Theatre faculty research and creative endeavor by clicking below.


Jeff Casazza was accepted into the Linklater Voice, Text and Movement Work exploring Shakespeare in New York City and participated in a week long workshop with professional artists, continuing his path toward Linklater Designation.

Casazza performed the role of the Sun God in Too Much in the Sun-A Devised Theatre Piece created with an international cast and production team and performed in the Festa di Teatro Ecologico in Stromboli, Italy

Casazza presented his performance workshop The Transformative Power of Breath for the National Conference for the Association of Theatre Movement Educators, July 23-24, in Scottsdale, Arizona. The National Conference for the Association of Theatre in Higher Education followed immediately after in Scottsdale, Arizona, where Casazza presented his performance workshops Using Kinesthetic Awareness to Create Language and Story, Transforming Dream Imagery into Performance; a panel presentation called Essential Openings: Drawing in the Audience Immediately!; and was the Chair and Coordinator for two workshop sessions, Affecting Kinesthesia from Internal and External Awareness in Viewpoints Practice and Creating Performances Using Dreams as Source Material.


Jeff Casazza Wins Leepoxy Plastics Teaching Award  Jeff Casazza – Leepoxy Plastics Teaching Award Winner

Jeff Casazza, associate professor of theatre, won the Leepoxy Plastics, Inc. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching for his innovative approach to teaching Theatrical Composition. The award was established in 2003 by area businessman Lawrence Lee to recognize and encourage innovative undergraduate teaching that enhances student learning.

The selection committee, comprised of two faculty members, two students and a staff member designated by the vice chancellor of academic affairs, chose Casazza from among five nominees from three colleges. In coming to a consensus on the winner, the insights and perspectives of the student members of the committee were particularly persuasive. Further, Casazza provided ample convincing evidence showing that his innovation enhanced learning outcomes. The chancellor will present Jeff with the award and $1,000 in professional development funds at the annual convocation ceremony in August 2013.

Jeff Casazza, associate professor of theatre, was a member of the international cast of The Proserpina Variations: The Wrath of Mother Nature, performed at the Festival di Teatro Eco Logico in Stromboli, Italy from June 22-26. Casazza performed the roles of Jupiter and Typhon in this devised theatre piece under the direction of Alessandro Fabrizi and Susan Main. Performed without electricity, the production was staged in a Greek-style amphitheater under a setting sun with the sea as a background, using various torches and candles for lighting as night fell.

During the National Theatre Conference of the Association of Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) in Orlando, Florida, Casazza served as the session chair and coordinator for two sessions between August 1-4; Devising Theatre in the Class: Creative Play that Leads to Engaging Theatrical Performances and Training Actors through Games: When Students Pay to Play. Casazza also presented two workshops; Devising a Structure to Teach Devising: Creating Theatre through Sound and Movement in Space and Time and Attack, Defend, Escape - Using Play to Embody Objectives and Tactics.

Assistant Professor Jeff Casazza is the recipient of a 2013 Purdue Research Foundation Summer Faculty Grant in the amount of $8,000 for his continued theatrical research work in Europe. This summer Casazza will be working on his research project entitled “Prosperina/Persephone Variations: Exploring the Voice Using Classical Texts.”

Jeff Casazza, associate professor of theatre, will be training in the Linklater technique and rehearsing and performing The Proserpina Variations: The Wrath of Mother Nature in Italy in July. He will be presenting three workshops for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education National Theatre Conference in Orlando, Florida, from August 1 – 4, 2013.


Assistant Professor of Theatre Jeffrey Casazza was the winner of the 2011–12 Visual and Performing Arts Excellence in Teaching award. The annual monetary and recognition award was given by the VPA Faculty Affairs Committee to acknowledge excellence in the classroom, accomplishments in one’s creative endeavor, and advancements in teaching within the department.

Victoria Adams-Zischke is currently, performing through June in Vanishing Point, for American Stage Theatre Company (ASC) in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Agatha Christie vanished for eleven days in 1926. That same year, evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson vanished for three weeks. Amelia Earhart disappeared during her 1937 around-the-world flight and never was seen again. Agatha and Aimee never spoke of what happened during their disappearances. Vanishing Point, a musical fantasy, brings these three women together on a road trip through time and space as they recall their past and explore their future, stepping in and out of one another’s lives.

Assistant Professor of acting, movement and voice Jeffrey Casazza received a $1,000 Grant-in-Aid from Office of Research and External Support to sustain his work in Italy with Kristin Linklater during June, 2012.  Kristin Linklater is a Scottish vocal coach, dialect coach, acting teacher, actor, theatre director, and author. She was Head of Acting in the Theatre Arts Division of Columbia University. Linklater has trained many well-known actors, including Patrick Stewart, Donald Sutherland, Alfre Woodard, Mary Tyler Moore, Bill Murray, Angela Bassett, Sigourney Weaver and Bernadette Peters.

Assistant Professor of Theatre Victoria Adams-Zischke and her husband, Kurt Zischke, will appear on stage together for the upcoming Fort Wayne Philharmonic Signature Series Mozart: Revealed, an original production telling the story of Mozart in his own words—through drama, opera and orchestral music. The Zischkes, both professional actors, will be featured in the production written and directed by Werner Trieschmann, with Andrew Constantine conducting the orchestra. Performances are Friday, April 27 at 7 p.m. or Sunday, April 29, at 2:30 p.m. Both performances are at the Arts United Center. For more information


During July, John O’Connell continued his professional directing career with a production of Barefoot in the Park for American Stage Theatre Company (ASC) in St. Petersburg, Fla. This production garnered a nomination for a Jeff Norton Award for Best Direction, and in September, ASTC management notified O’Connell that Barefoot broke their 30-year attendance record, making it the highest attended play in ASTC history.