Dr. Al Goldfarb

dr. alvin goldfarbDr. Alvin (Al) Goldfarb is the child of Holocaust survivors and a nationally known theatre educator and administrator. Al served as chair of the department of Theatre, Dean of Fine Arts, and Provost and Academic Vice President at Illinois State University. Al served as President of Western Illinois University from 2002 to 2011, when he retired.

Throughout his distinguished administrative career, Al continued to teach and publish. He has published articles and reviews in leading journals. In addition to his textbooks Theatre: The Lively Art; Living Theatre; and An Anthology of Living Theatre, coauthored and coedited with Ed Wilson, retired theatre critic for the Wall Street Journal, Al also coedited, with Rebecca Rovit, Theatrical Performance during the Holocaust, which was a National Jewish Book Award finalist.


Ph.D., City University of New York, Theatre (9/73 – 1/78)
Graduate Center Thesis: “Theatre and Drama and the Nazi Concentration Camps”
M.A., Hunter College of C.U.N.Y., Theatre and Cinema (9/72 – 8/73 )
Thesis: “Selected Late Plays of Tennessee Williams: A Re-Evaluation”
B.A., Queens College of C.U.N.Y., Theatre and Mass Communications (1/68 – 6/72)

Administrative Experience

President, Western Illinois University, 7/1/2002 – 6/30/2011 (retired)
Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Illinois State University, 8/98-6/2002
Dean, College of Fine Arts, Illinois State University, 9/88 -7/98
Acting Dean, College of Fine Arts, Illinois State University, Spring, 1986
Chair, Department of Theatre, Illinois State University, 7/81 – 8/88
Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Theatre, Illinois State University, 7/80 – 8/81

Teaching Experience

Illinois State University
Professor, Department of Theatre, Illnois State University (7/86 – 6/30/2011 (retired)
Associate Professor, Illnois State University (8/80 – 7/86)
Assistant Professor, Illnois State University (8/77 – 7/80)St. John’s University 
Adjunct – Part-time, Department of Communications, St. John’s University (9/76 – 5/77)

City College of C.U.N.Y. 
Adjunct – Part-time, Department of Speech, City College C.U.N.Y. (9/75 – 5/77)

Hunter College of C.U.N.Y.
Adjunct – Part-time, Department of Theatre and Cinema, Hunter College of C.U.N.Y. (Summer 1975

Queens College of C.U.N.Y.
Adjunct – Part-time, Department of Drama and Theatre, Queens College of C.U.N.Y. (Summer 1975)


Books and Monographs
Living Theater: A History. Third and Expanded Edition. Co-authored with Edwin Wilson. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000).
Living Theater: A History. Second and Expanded Edition. Co-authored with Edwin Wilson. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1994).
Living Theater: An Introduction to Theatre History. Co-authored with Edwin Wilson (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1983).
Teacher’s Guide to Shakespeare on Stage. Co-authored with Calvin Pritner. Videotape series produced by the Illinois Shakespeare Festival and distributed nationally to educational television networks.
Theater: The Lively Art. Fourth Edition. Co-authored with Edwin Wilson (New York: McGraw Hill, 2001).
Theater: The Lively Art. Third Edition. Co-authored with Edwin Wilson (New York: McGraw Hill, 1999).
Theater: The Lively Art. Second Edition. Co-authored with Edwin Wilson (New York: McGraw Hill, 1996).
Theater: The Lively Art. Co-authored with Edwin Wilson (New York: McGraw Hill, 1991).
Theater: The Lively Art: A Brief Edition. Co-authored with Edwin Wilson. (New York: McGraw Hill, 1993).
Theatrical Performance during the Holocaust: Texts, Memoirs, and Documents. Coedited with Rebecca Rovit. (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999).

Articles and Notes
“Adolf Hitler as Portrayed in Drama and Film During His Lifetime.” Journal of Popular Culture, 13 no. 1 (Summer 1979), 55-56.
“Annotated Bibliography of Holocaust Dramatic Literature.” Staging the Holocaust. Edited by Claude Schumacher. (London: Cambridge University Press, 1998).
“Art of the Theatre.” In: New Lincoln Library Encyclopedia. Columbus, Ohio: Frontier Press, 1982.
“Arthur Miller: A Critical Survey.” American Playwrights from 1945. ed. Philip Kolin (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1989).
“Biblical and Religious Imagery and the Question of Theodicy in Holocaust Drama.” Theatre Annual, 36 (1981), 41-51.
“Bibliography of Holocaust Dramatic Literature.” Plays of the Holocaust. ed. Elinor Fuchs (New York: TCG Publications, 1987).
“Early London Productions of Chekhov, 1911-1930.” Southern Theatre, 23 no. 1 (Winter 1979), 15-21.
“The Emperor of Atlantis: Satire in the Nazi Concentration Camps.” Theatre Journal, 32 (October 1980), 386-87.
Entries for The Academic American Encyclopedia published by Arete Publishing company in 1980.
Entries on Lee J. Cobb, Berta Gersten, David Kessler, and Paul Muni for American National Biography(Oxford University Press, 2000).
Entries on the Folksbiene, Yiddish Art Theatre and Jewish Art Theatre, ed. American Theatre Companies, ed. Weldon Durham (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1987).
“Gigantic and Miniscule Actors on the Nineteenth-Century American Stage.” Journal of Popular Culture, 10 no. 2 (Fall 1976), 267-79.
“Greek Tragedy in the Nazi Concentration Camps: Charolotte Delbo’s Qui Rapportera ces Paroles? and Alberto Moravia’s Il Dio Kurt.” Exchange 6 no. 3 (Fall, 1980), 1-10.
“Holocaust on the Air: The Radio Plays of the Writers’ War Board. “ Journal of American Drama and Theatre, 8 no. 2 (Spring 1996), 48-58.
“Inadequate Memories: The Survivor in Plays by Mann, Kesselman, Lebow, and Baitz.” In: Staging the Holocaust, ed. Claude Schumacher (London: Cambridge University Press, 1998).
“Josef Szajna’s Metaphorical Representations of the Nazi Concentration Camps.” Exchange, 6 no. 2 (Spring-Summer 1980), 1-14.
“More Questions About ‘Non-Academic’ Creative Activities in Theatre.” ACA Bulletin, no. 43 (January 1983), 26-29.
“Period of Adjustment and the New Tennessee Williams.” In: Tennessee Williams: A Tribute (University of Mississippi Press, 1977), pp. 310-17.
Rachel Crothers: Bloomington-Normal’s Native Daughter in the Broadway Theatre.” Bloomington-Normal Magazine, 1 no. 3 (March 1979), 8-9.
“Roar China in a Nazi Concentration Camp,” Theatre Survey, 21 (November 1980), 184-85.
“Theatrical Activities in Nazi Concentration Camps.” Performing Arts Journal, 1 no. 2 (Fall 1976), 3-11.
“The Theatrical Life of Sherlock Holmes.” North Light Repertory program, April 1981, Evanston, Illinois.
“Theories of Tragedy” and “Theories of Comedy” In: The Theatre Experience. Fifth Edition. By Edwin Wilson. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1991).
“Thomas William Robertson: Actor.” Theatre Survey, 20 (November 1979), 64-67.

“Books in Review: Theatre of the Holocaust and Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust,” Theatre Journal (October 1983).
“Books in Review: Bright Star of Exile.” Performing Arts Journal, 2 (Winter 1977-78).
“Books in Review: The Habima — Israel’s National Theatre, 1917-1977.” Theatre Journal, 32 (October 1980), 405-06.
“Books in Review: Vagabond Stars.” Educational Theatre Journal, 30 (March 1978), 1933-34.
Review of Israeli Holocaust Drama, edited by Michael Taub. Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, (Fall 1998).
Theatre in Review: “Bent.” Theatre Journal, 32 (October 1980), 398-99.
Theatre in Review: “The Theatre of Peretz.” Educational Theatre Journal, 28 (October 1976), 417-18.

Convention Papers and Other Convention Dates
“Adolf Hitler As Depicted in Drama and Film.” Midwest Popular Culture Association Convention, October 1979, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio.
“Biblical Imagery in Holocaust Drama.” American Theatre Association convention, Dallas, August 1981 and Illinois Theatre Association convention, Chicago, Illinois, October 1981.
“Children’s Theatre in the Holocaust.” Illinois Theatre Association convention, Chicago, Illinois, September 1984.
“Course Loads in Theatre.” National Association of Schools of Theatre convention, August 1988, San Diego.
“Defending the Theatre in the Next Millennium.” Illinois Theatre Association, keynote address, Chicago, Illinois, September, 1998.
“Drama and the Nazi Concentration Camps: Attempts to Stage the Unstageable.” Illinois Theatre Association convention, Peoria, Illinois, 1979 and American Theatre Association, August 1980, San Diego.
“Giant and Dwarf Actors on the Nineteenth-Century British and American Stage.” Popular Culture Association, April 1976, Chicago.
“The Place of the M.A. degree in the Theatre Department.” National Association of Schools of Theatre convention, August 1989, Chicago, Illinois.
“Popular Entertainments in Colonial America.” American Society for Theatre Research, November 1975, Washington, D.C. (In collaboration with Rita Plotnicki.)
“Relationship Between University and Secondary School Theatre.” National Association of Schools of Theatre convention, Chicago, August 1987.
“Strategies for Teaching Theatre History to Undergraduates.” American Theatre Association convention, Minneapolis, August 1983.
“Survival of Popular Entertainments in the Nazi Concentration Camps.” Popular Culture Association, Cincinnati, April 1978.
“Survivor in American Drama.” Shoah and Performance conference, University of Glasgow, September 1995.
“Teaching the Holocaust through Dramatic Texts.” Association for Theatre in Higher Education, San Antonio, Texas, August, 1998.
“Tenure Standards for Design/Technical Faculty.” Association for Theatre in Higher Education convention, August 1991, Seattle, Washington.
“Testimony as Theatre or Theatre as Testimony.” Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Chicago, August 1997.
Chair, “The Dark Side of Popular Culture” panel, Popular Culture Association, Cincinnati, April 1978.
Chair, Current Research in Theatre History, American Theatre Association convention, Dallas, August 1981.
Chair, Competitive Panel in Theatre History, American Theatre Association convention, San Francisco, August, 1984.
Chair, “Baroque Stage Design,” American Theatre Association convention, Toronto, August 1985.
Chair, “Spanish-American theatre,” American Society for Theatre Research, New York, November 1985.
Chair, “Current Research in Theatre History,” Association for Theatre in Higher Education, San Diego, August, 1988.

Professional Offices and Significant Committee Assignments

National Association of Schools of Theatre Evaluator, 1986 to 2011
Chair, Educating Illinois: An Action Plan for Distinctiveness and Excellence at Illinois State University, 2000-2001.
Chair, President’s Task Force on Administrative Efficiency, Illinois State University, 1990-1991.
Member (Governor appointed), Illinois Arts Council, 1996-2000.
Member, President’s Strategic Planning Task Force, Illinois State University, 1989-1990.
President, Illinois Alliance for Arts Education, 1997- 1999.
Regional Chair, ACTF Region III-West, 1985-1988.
Referee, Central States Speech Journal, 1982-84.
Regional Chair, ACTF Criticism competition, 1983-85.
Editorial Consultant, “Theatre in Review.” Theatre Journal, 1981-1983.
ACTF Regional critic, 1981-1989.
Expert Reader, Theatre Journal, articles on the Holocaust and Theatre.
Referee, BHE-PSC Research Grant for the City University of New York, December, 1978.
Research Assistant, see acknowledgement in A.H. Saxon’s The Life and Art of Andrew Ducrow (Hamden, Connecticut: Archon Books, 1978).

Honors and Grants

Alumni Achievement Award, City University of New York Graduate School and University Center, 2001.
Service Award, Illinois Alliance for Arts Education, 1993.
Town and Gown Lecturer, Ball State University, October 1992.
Outstanding Contribution Award, University Theatre, Illinois Theatre Association, 1991.
Fell Trust Grant, “Virtual Reality conference,” 1991 ($5000).
Guest Lecturer, University of North Carolina–Asheville, 1990 and 1991.
Kennedy Center Medallion for ACTF, Region III, 1989.
Illinois Arts Council grant, “Building by Design,” 1991 ($3800).
Illinois Arts council grant, “Building by Design,” 1987 ($10,000).
Illinois Arts Council grant, “Illinois Shakespeare Festival,” 1987 and 1988 ($10,400 & $8,200).
Instructional Development Program Grant, Illinois State University, Summer 1981.
International “Who’s Who in Education,” 1979.
City University Graduate Fellowship, 1974-75.
Phi Beta Kappa, June 1972.
Graduated Queens College “magna cum laude,” June 1972.
Queens College’s Deans’ List.
New York State Regents’ Scholarship, 1968-72.

Browse the Plays

Play Index


HTC Insights

Views, reference and research of interest.

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