Peter Zazzali

Associate Professor
Associate Chair
Artistic Director of Kansas Repertory Theatre
Primary office:
Murphy Hall
Room 214B


Dr. Zazzali is an internationally recognized scholar/artist who teaches acting, directing, and directs for the Department of Theatre. His research areas include acting theory, actor training, sociology of theatre, and the history of the US not-for-profit theatre, all of which constitute his current book project examining the role of BFA/MFA acting schools relative to the professional theatre. His publications appear in such journals as Theatre Topics, Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, PAJ, CIBS, The European Legacy, Western European Stages, and Theatre Journal. His book, Acting in the Academy: The History of Professional Actor Training in US Higher Education was released by Routledge in April of 2016.

In addition to KU, Dr. Zazzali has taught a wide range of courses at institutions such as the Western Australian Academy of the Performing Arts, American Musical and Dramatic Academy, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Colby College, CUNY, and Cornell University. A member of Actors Equity (AEA), the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), he has directed and/or acted in more than 100 productions in the professional theatre, including work with such prestigious organizations as the Acting Company, the Guthrie, PCPA Theaterfest, George Street Playhouse, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and the New Jersey, Texas, and Utah Shakespearean Festivals.

Teaching Interests

  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Theatre History


My work as a scholar/artist includes practical work as an actor and director, as well as scholarly publications and participation at major conferences in the field of theatre and performance, and workshops on both national and international levels.

Research Interests

  • Acting
  • Actor Training
  • Directing
  • Theatre History
  • Sociology of Theatre

Selected Publications

Zazzali, P. (2016). Acting in the Academy: The History of Professional Actor Training in US Higher Education , New York, NY: Routledge Press (Taylor and Francis Group).

Zazzali, P. (2016). Starstruck! The Phenomenological Affect of Celebrity on Broadway. Journal of American Drama and Theatre.

Zazzali, P. & Klein, J. (2015). Towards Revising Undergraduate Theatre Curriculum. Theatre Topics, 25(3), 259-274.

Zazzali, P. (2015). Introduction . Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism , 29(2).

Zazzali, P. & Meier, P. (2014). Trust and Communication in the Director/Voice Coach Collaboration: A Case Study of Much Ado About Nothing at the University of Kansas . Voice and Speech Review , 8(3), 250-60.

Zazzali, P. (2014). An Examination of the Actor's Double-Consciousness Through Stanislavski's Conceptualization of 'Artistic Truth' . Stanislavski Studies ,(4), 47-65.

Zazzali, P. (2014). We're All in this Together, Right? How Kansas City Actor's Theatre Uses a Collective Ethos to Keep Its Actors and Audiences Happy. American Theatre , 31(5), 34-37.

Zazzali, P. (2013). The Role of Theatre in Society: a Comparative Analysis of the Socio-cultural Theories of Brecht, Benjamin, and Adorno. The European Legacy, 18(6), 685-697.

Zazzali, P. (2013). Actor Training in New York City . Performing Arts Journal, 35(1).

Zazzali, P. (2010). Let Our Freak Flags Fly: Shrek the Musical and the Branding of Diversity. Theatre Journal, 62(2), 151-172.

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