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David Willinger

Faculty and Staff Profiles

David Willinger

Acting Chair, Professor

CG 322
Phone Number: 

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.



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)



  • 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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