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Faculty and Staff Profiles

David Willinger



Division of Humanities and the Arts


Theatre and Speech


CG 322

p: 212-650-5948


  • Profile

    Teaching Philosophy

    I believe that Theatre is for everyone, and that everyone can find themselves through theatre practice. Whether one is developing oneself for a profession in the theatre or simply aiming to have an unforgettable cultural and personally creative experience, we here at City College are here to provide a marvelous context for that experience.
  • Education


    Graduate Center, CUNY, Ph.D.
    Herbert H. Lehman, MA
    Herbert H. Lehman, BA
  • Courses Taught

    Acting, Directing, Speech for the Stage, and Theatre History 2 and 3

    Prof. Willinger is also on the faculty of the Ph.D. Program in Theatre at the CUNY Graduate Center

    Prof. Willinger directs one play a year

    CCNY Productions
    Tales from the Vienna Woods
    The Cherry Orchard
    The London Cuckolds
    Twelfth Night
    De Donde
    Anything Goes
    The Italian Straw Hat
    Bang-Bang, You're Dead
    The Tale of Martin Chuzzlewit
    Little Shop of Horrors
    The Wound
    The Wiz
    King Stag
    Look Homeward Angel


  • Research Interests

    Other Training and Education

    Center for Theatre Practice (Joseph Chaikin, Meredith Monk)
    Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (Acting Classical Texts, Voice, Movement, Speech; Studied with: Eve Shapiro, Robert Palmer, Elizabeth Pursey, June Kemp)
    Herbert Berghof Studio (Scene Study; Studied with: William Hickey)
  • Publications


    • Four Millenial Plays From Belgium, Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, 2014
    • A Maeterlinck Reader, Francophone Belgium Series, Peter Lang Publishers
    • The Sacrament and Other Plays of Forbidden Love by Hugo Claus, Susquehanna University Press, 2008
    • Three Fin-de-Siècle Farces, Francophone Belgium Series, Peter Lang Publishers, 2004
    • Theatrical Gestures of Belgian Modernism: Dada, Surrealism, Futurism, and Pure Plastic in Twentieth Centurey Belgian Theatre, Francophone Belgium Series, Peter Lang Publishers (revision and expansion of earlier work), 2002
    • Friday, translation of Hugo Claus's play, Theatre and Film Books, Theatre in Translation Series, 1994
    • Ghelderode, Host Publications, 1990
    • Hugo Claus: Works for the Theatre, CASTA, 1990
    • A Theatre Anthology, University Press of America, 1987
    • Theatrical Gestures from the Belgian Avant-Garde, New York Literary Forum, 1987
    • Andrea's Got Two Boyfriends (Original Play), Dramatists Play Service, 1982, 1986
    • An Anthology of Contemporary Belgian Plays, 1962-1980, Whitston Publishing Co., 1984

    Articles in Journals and Entries from Books

    • Entries on Hugo Claus, René Kalisky, Paul Willems, Len Jenkins, Eduardo Machado for Encyclopedia of Modern Drama, Grolier
    • "Belgian Theatre Today: A Global View," Western European Stages
    • "Tam-Tam: Analysis of an Underestimated but Significant Dramatic Work," Lettres ou ne pas lettres: mélanges de littérature française de Belgique offerts à Roland Beyen
    • "Paul Willems: Figure of Intersection and Transition in the Belgian Theatre," Paul Willems, L'Enchanteur, Daniel Friedman and Fabrice Van de Kerckhove, eds. Peter Lang, Francophone Belgium Series
    • "Ah, Vous Parlez Belge, N'Est-Ce Pas?" Le Carnet et les Instants, Book Review of The Crommelynck Mystery and The Theatre of Fernand Crommelynck, both by Alain Piette and Bert Cardullo, Modern Drama
    • "Five Approaches to Theatre in Belgium," Western European Stages
    • "The Abnormal Talent: Larry Kramer's Electro-Shock Treatment for the World Theatre," We Must Love One Another or Die: The Life and Legacy of Larry Kramer, Larry Mass, ed., Cassell Publishers, St. Martin's Press
    •  "Ghelderode et Claus:  deux écrivains belges se réflètent," Michel de Ghelderode… Trente ans après, Rodica Lascu-Pop and Rodica Baconsky, eds., University of Cluj
    • Review of Adrienne Kennedy's Funnyhouse of a Negro and A Movie Star Has to Star in Black and White, The Theatre Journal
    • "The Unwitting Avant-Garde Exchange Between Belgium and America throughout the Twentieth Century," Unwitting Influences in Theatre, Diana Hellemans and Ronald Geerts, eds, V.U.B. Press
    • Review of three books about Michel de Ghelderode, Modern Drama
    • "Richard, Vanya, and James," Western European Stages Special Dutch Issue, Guest Co-editor of Special Issue
    • Interview with Geraardjan Rijnders, Western European Stages Special Dutch Issue
    • Eduardo Machado Entry, Critical Survey of Drama, Salem Press
    • Hugo Claus Entry, International Dictionary of the Theatre, St. James Press
    • "Developing a Concert for the Spoken Voice: Solo Voyages," Intersecting Boundaries: The Theatre of Adrienne Kennedy, Lois More Overbeck and Paul Bryant-Jackson, eds. University of Minnesota Press
    • The Weight of the Snow, translation of play by Paul Willems, Four Plays of Paul Willems: Dreams and Reflections, Suzanne Burgoyne, ed., Garland Publishers
    • "Blauwe Maandag Compagnie," Western European Stages, reprinted in Flemish Theatre Yearbook
    • "A Spin Through the Flemish Theatre Scene," Western European Stages
    • "The Best of Times and the Worst of Times: Jerome Savary's Midsummer Night's Dream," Western European Stages
    • "Michel de Ghelderode Entry, European Writers: The Twentieth Century, George Stade, ed., Vol 11, Charles Scribner's Sons
    • "Introducing Hugo Claus," Western European Stages
    • "Hugo Claus's The Temptation and Christian Mysticism," Sacred Theatre, Daniel Gerould, Bettina Knapp, and Jane House, eds.
    • "The Pseudo-Dramas of Paul Joostens," Symposium
    • "Maeterlinck's Legacy: Recent Developments in Belgian Playwriting," European Studies Journal
    • "Social Contexts and Aesthetic Modes of Political Theatre in Belgium," Political Theatre Today, Jane House, ed.
    • "L'Homme qui avait le soleil dans sa poche et la pluie belge," Textyles
    • "Bert André, Mainstay of the Flemish Theatre," The Drama Review
    • "Van Hove's Disease Germs," The Drama Review
    • "Jean Louvet, écrivain au soleil," Textes pour Didascalies
    • "Tiedrie: A Bric-a-Brac Theatre in Antwerp," International Theatre
    • Entries on American Collaborative Drama and Belgian Playwrights: Hugo Claus, René Kalisky, Jean Louvet, Jean Sigrid, and revised Ghelderode entry, Encyclopedia of World Drama, 2nd ed. New York, McGraw-Hill
    • "Van Hove's Geruchten," The Drama Review
    • "An Actor's Approach to the Study of Plays," Insight

    Professional Directing

    Theater for the New City
    Casterbridge, musical adaptation of Thomas Hardy's novel, The Mayor of Casterbridge
    The Upper Lip, adapted from William Saroyan's novel, Rock Wagram
    Job's Passion, Hanoch Levin
    Secret Agent, adapted from Joseph Conrad's novel
    Minus One, Gyavira Lasana
    The Open Gate, adapted from Isaac B. Singer's novel, The Manor
    The Trail of Tears, Original Work from the Historical Record
    Jim the Lionhearted, René Kalisky
    Master and Margarita, Jean-Claude Van Itallie's adaptation from Bulgakov
    Bombing the Cradle, Original Work about the Gulf War
    Caprichos, self-authored, based on Goyaís etchings
    He Saw His Reflection, Miranda McDermott
    Heart is a Lonely Hunter, adapted from Carson McCullers' novel
    Don Juan in NYC, Eduardo Machado

    Ambassador Theatre, Washington, DC
    Under the Shadow of Wings, Double Bill by Maeterlinck and Tagore

    La Mama ETC (all world premieres)
    The Wound, adapted from Paul Willems's novel
    Frida y Diego, Original Work
    Malcolm's Time, Original Work
    Andrea's Got Two Boyfriends, Original Work

    Ghost Sonata, August Strindberg

    Avalon Repertory Theatre
    The Diviners, Jim Ward

    Interarttheatre (world premiere)
    Solo Voyages, Adrienne Kennedy

    Diary of Lights, Adrienne Kennedy

    Cubiculo (American premiere)
    The Temptation, Hugo Claus, his own translation

    Hartley House Theatre

    That Time, Samuel Beckett
    Blockheads, Michel De Ghelderode, his own translation
    Blue Woman on Black Bed, Original Work
    Secrets of Successful Runners, Original Work
    A Month in the Country, Ivan Turgenev
    Piet Bouteille, Michel De Ghelderode
    The Stranger, adaptation of Albert Camus' novel
    Lord Halewyn, Michel De Ghelderode
    The Terror of Suspension, Albert Bermel

    New York Theater Ensemble
    Don Juan, Molière
    'Tis Pity She's a Whore, John Ford

    One-Act Repertory Company
    The Exception and the Rule, Bertolt Brecht

    Staged Readings

    Blue Heron Arts Center
    If Truth Were Known, Judi Komaki

    Aaron Davis Hall (New Works Series)
    Godmother, Gyavira Lasana

    New York Shakespeare Festival
    The Brass Ring, Orson Welles

    Chelsea Drama Center
    Mixed Doubles, Miklos Vamos

    Italian Theatre Festival
    Love and Magic in Mama's Kitchen, Lina Wertmuller

    Original Theatre (wrote)

    New Media Repertory
    Out of Their Minds

    Original Theatre (wrote and directed)

    Theater for the New City
    The Trail of Tears: A Drama from the Historical Record
    The Open Gate
    Bombing the Cradle

    LaMama ETC
    Frida y Diego
    Malcolm's Time
    Andrea's Got Two Boyfriends
    The latter work has been subsequently performed at the Julian Theatre, San Francisco, the Los Angeles Actors' Unit (as a long-run hit), the Yale Cabaret, and many amateur theatres across the country every year. It garnered Mr. Willinger a Drama-Logue Award and is published by Dramatists Play Service. It has even been performed in Poland in translation.

    Hartley House Theatre
    Secrets of Successful Runners
    Blue Woman on Black Bed

    Dramatic Adaptations

    Secret Agent (Based on Joseph Conrad's novel) performed at Theater for the New City
    The Open Gate (A musical based on I.B. Singer's novel) performed at Theater for the New City
    Casterbridge (A musical based on Thomas Hardy's novel;music by Christopher Beste)
    Leopold II (An opera based on the life of the Belgian king. Music by Hellmuth Dusedau)
    Heart is a Lonely Hunter (Celebrated production, directed by Mr. Willinger of Carson McCuller's novel. Performed 2 years in succession at TNC.)
    The Stranger (Based on Albert Camus's novel. Performed at Hartley House Theatre)
    The Counterfeiters (Based on André Gide's novel)
    The Dead Girls (Based on Jorge Ibarguengoitia's novel. Performed at City College)
    Teiresias and the Idiot (A Musical based on a mythic structure, performed at Hartley House Theatre.)
  • Additional Information

    Professional Honors

    Prix du Rayonnement à L'Étranger from the Belgian Ministry of Culture
    3 Jerome Foundation Grants
    Rifkind Award
    2 Fulbright Foundation Research Fellowships
    National Endowment for the Humanities Grant
    The Translation Center Award
    The Drama-Logue Award
    Belgian American Educational Foundation Fellowship
    9 PSC-CUNY Grants
    Mellon Fellowship
    Peg Santvoordt Grant

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