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John Gronbeck-Tedesco

Professor Emeritus
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John Gronbeck-Tedesco is currently Professor Emeritus in the Department of Theatre where he taught from 1979 through 2016. His teaching duties included courses in directing, script analysis, research methodologies, U. S. theatre history, stand-up comedy, and acting. He has directed over forty plays in the educational and professional theatre. While at KU he served as Interim Dean of Fine Arts, Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Chair of the Department of Theatre and Film, and Acting Director of the University Honors Program. He is currently the Director of the Kansas Theatre Project (501 [c.] 3), a professional theatre consortium that focuses on the early history and culture of the central plains. KPT constructs performances about historical subjects and issues based on materials from personal memoirs, diaries and letters found in archives and libraries throughout the region. His plays and directing projects have appeared at Business Casual Productions (NYC), the Kansas City Fringe Festival, the Cleveland Public Theatre, the Last Frontier Play Festival (Valdez, Alaska) and other venues. His plays include "Performing Annie Oakley," "The Diary of Freedom," "The Frenchy Bernadone Show," "Tony and the Telephone Pole," and a quartet of plays based on Kansas history, "Prairie Fire."

Professor Gronbeck-Tedesco is the author of Acting Through Exercises: Journeys for the Actor, published in 1992, which received the "Best Book in Theatre Pedagogy and Practice" award from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. He is also the co-founder and former editor (1986-2006)of the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism for which he was acknowledged by the Association for Theatre Higher education with an award for editing.

Teaching Interests

  • Theatre History and Criticism
  • Stand-up Comedy


John is Director of the Kansas Theatre Project (501c3), a professional theatre consortium that performs materials drawn from personal memoirs, diaries and letters relevant to the history and culture of the central plains.

Research Interests

  • Dramatic Theory
  • Criticism
  • Acting
  • Playwriting

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