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Bill Fennelly
Bill Fennelly

Associate Professor



MacAlister Hall, 2015

Mr. Fennelly's work has been seen on Broadway, Off Broadway and regionally. Bill was the original Assistant Director on the creation of the TONY Award winning Jersey Boys, was the Resident Director for the Broadway First National Tour of Disney’s award-winning The Lion King, was the Associate Director for the world premiere musical The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm, which began its life at Hartford Stage Company and then moved to Broadway which featured: Sara Ramirez, Patrick Wilson, Adrienne Lennox, Liz Calloway, Beth Leavel, Mary Bond Davis, Michael Berresse, and Orfeh; he was also the Assistant Director to Sir Alan Ayckbourn on the U.S. premiere of Mr. Ayckbourn’s and Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical By Jeeves. Bill spent four seasons as a staff director with New York City Opera at Lincoln Center where he worked on over thirteen new productions including the Glimmerglass World Premiere, the NYC Premiere and the EMMY nominated PBS Great Performances Telecast of Central Park by Terrence McNally, Robert Beaser, Wendy Wasserstein, Deborah Drattell, Michael Torke and A.R. Gurney. Additionally, Bill directed the world premiere and Off Broadway production of Frankenstein the musical, which featured Hunter Foster, Steve Blanchard and Chrisitiane Noll.

Bill was awarded the prestigious Phil Killian Directing Fellowship at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. His work has been seen in NYC at The Roundabout and Playwrights Horizons as well as Lincoln Center and regionally at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theatre Center, Syracuse Stage, Portland Center Stage, Hartford Stage Company, Goodspeed Opera House, Actors Express, Fords Theatre, Walnut Street Theatre, The 2006 Cultural Olympic Festival at The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Arizona Theatre Company, Glimmerglass Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre and TheatreWorks in Palo Alto. He served as Producing Artistic Director at Actor's Express in Atlanta Georgia, Associate Producing Artistic Director of the TONY honored The Acting Company in NYC, and as an Assistant Artistic Director at Cirque du Soleil in Montreal, Chicago and New York City.

Bill was recently the director for the creation of the new musical Fly By Night, which played to rave reviews in its world premiere at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, where he earned a Bay Area Critics Award nomination for Best Director of a musical, as well as its subsequent production at Dallas Theatre Center where Bill was awarded the Dallas Column Award, for Best Director of a musical. Bill was also awarded the New York S.A.L.T. Award for Director of the Year and Production of the Year for his production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Syracuse Stage. Bill’s recent production of Herringbone starring Ben Dibble was a Barrymore recommended production at Flashpoint Theatre. Bill’s work as a director has also earned the California K.P.B.S. Patte Award, The San Diego Playbill Award and the Moss Hart Award by the New England Theatre Conference.

Bill began his teaching career, immediately upon the completion of his undergraduate studies at the Hartt School of Music at University of Hartford. He taught Acting, Text Analysis and Movement in the Graduate Opera Department at the Hartt School. This opportunity ignited his passion for teaching and artist development. His work as a teacher lead him to The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts where he taught Acting, Musical Theatre Performance and Text Analysis; University of California San Diego where he taught Acting and Directing; Indiana State University where he taught master-classes in Acting and integrated Viewpoints/Laban; Dartmouth College where he taught master-classes in Acting and integrated Viewpoints/Laban technique; Actors Express where he taught Acting, Joint Stock and Directing, N.Y.U. where he has worked as a mentor, dramaturg and director on many thesis musicals in the Graduate Music Theatre Writing Department, and most recently to Juilliard where he was a master teacher for the Juilliard summer Shakespeare institute. Bill is thrilled to be a part of the Drexel University team where his passion for language and artist development continues to develop into the nationally recognized technique called Exacting.

Bill earned a contracted B.M. in Music Theatre Performance, Directing and Dramatic Writing from the Hartt School at The University of Hartford and his M.F.A. in directing from University of California San Diego. 

MFA, Directing, University of California, San Diego
BM, Music Theatre Performance, Directing and Dramatic Writing, The Hartt School, University of Hartford