Professional Actor, Director, and Africanist Scholar to Teach at SUU

Published: August 02, 2021 | Author: Ashley H Palmer | Category: Arts

Dr. Darius Omar WilliamsThe Department of Theatre, Dance, and Arts Administration at Southern Utah University is privileged and ecstatic to welcome Dr. Darius Omar Williams as a new Assistant Professor of Theatre. He is an Actors’ Equity Association professional actor, director, acting coach, playwright, poet, and Africanist scholar with over 25 years of experience in the theatre. Williams earned his Master of Arts in Theatre from Bowling Green State University, his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, and earned his Ph.D. in Theatre from The Ohio State University.

Dr. Darius Omar Williams said, “I am thrilled and tremendously grateful to be joining the distinguished College of Performing and Visual Arts at Southern Utah University. To be joining the Department of Theatre, Dance and Arts Administration, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre, is an auspicious honor and I am excited to continue my artistic journey with such a rare and awesome group of colleagues. I was born and raised in Mississippi. Therefore, I bring much of that rich culture and life experience to my artistic work.”

He has worked as an Actors’ Equity Association professional actor in Boston for professional theatre companies including Wheelock Family Theatre, The Theater Offensive, Lyric Stage Company of Boston, Stoneham Theatre, Our Place Theatre and Cape Rep and was nominated for Best Actor by the Independent Reviewer of New England (IRNE) for his portrayal of “Afir Thomas” in the World Premiere of Letta Neely’s Hamartia Blues produced by The Theater Offensive. He’s also artistically collaborated with veteran artists including Robbie McCauley, Akin Babatunde, Laurie Carlos, Jacqui Parker, and Renita Martin.

In addition to teaching, acting, and directing plays, Dr. Darius Omar Williams is also a poet and playwright. His play Mississippi Born and Bred has been workshopped and involved in New Play Development including being featured in a public reading at the National Black Theatre Festival in 2015. In 2018, Williams won Excellence in Direction for his direction of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s In the Red and Brown Water and his play Mississippi Born And Bred from the Region IV Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. In 2017, he solely coached and mentored two of his acting students from a regional win to a national win at The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Washington, DC-one of the most humbling moments of his career which included Williams’ first year acting student winning the national Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship and Classical Acting Award. It was his student’s first time ever working a classical monologue. Williams is also Founder and Artistic Director of The Annual Mississippi Black Theatre Festival and The Darius Omar Williams Studio of Acting. 

When asked what he was looking forward to teaching the students at SUU, he shared, “I am excited to share with these brilliant young theatre artists an array of integral skills and tools that will ultimately center, focus and ground them in their craft including but not limited to both traditional and non-traditional acting methodologies. My ultimate goal as a new member of this fine department is to join my colleagues in our collective effort to consciously and consistently insert a global perspective in the acting process including culturally specific approaches to the craft such as my own Conjuring acting technique which draws from southern Mississippi culture, the West African culture, Afrofuturistic, and Greek pantheon.”

The College of Performing and Visual Arts at SUU is thrilled for Dr. Darius Omar Williams to serve as a new Assistant Professor of Theatre. We look forward to his direction of our students and the knowledge that he will share with them. For more information about the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Arts Administration at SUU, please visit suu.edu/pva/ta.

About the College of Performing and Visual Arts

The College of Performing and Visual Arts (CPVA) at Southern Utah University comprises 26 academic programs including liberal arts (BA/BS) and professional (BFA, BM, BMEd) degrees in art, design, dance, music, and theatre. It includes graduate programs in the fields of arts administration (MFA, MA), music education (MME), and music technology (MM). More than 60 full-time faculty and staff are engaged in teaching and mentoring nearly 800 majors in the College. CPVA presents over 100 performances, lectures, presentations, and exhibitions each year and is affiliated with the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA), Utah Shakespeare Festival, and the Center for Shakespeare Studies. Southern Utah University is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD), National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) making SUU the first public university in the state of Utah to be accredited by all four associations. For more information about the College of Performing and Visual Arts, visit suu.edu/pva.


Tags: Theater College of Performing and Visual Arts

Contact Information:

Ashley H Palmer, Public Relations and Information Coordinatior
4358658667
ashleyhpalmer@suu.edu