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Bill Fennelly
Bill Fennelly
Associate Professor



MacAlister Hall, 2015

Bill Fennelly is an award winning stage director whose work has been seen on Broadway, Off Broadway regionally, and Internationally in theatre and on television.

Bill’s work has been seen in NYC at The Roundabout Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons; and regionally at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Dallas Theatre Center, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Syracuse Stage, Portland Center Stage, Hartford Stage Company, Goodspeed Opera House, LaJolla Playhouse, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, TheatreWorks in Palo Alto California, TheaterWorks in Hartford Connecticut, Arizona Theatre Company, Actors Express, Ford’s Theatre, People’s Light, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Walnut Street Theatre, PlayPenn, Guild Hall of East Hampton, The 2006 Cultural Olympic Festival at The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, New York City Opera at Lincoln Center, Glimmerglass Opera, and Chicago Opera Theatre.

Recently Bill collaborated with CNN political commentator and Sirius Satellite Radio POTUS talk show host Michael Smerconish on the creation of his one-man political and journalistic retrospective: Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Talking which aired internationally on CNN.

Bill has been invited by the Taipei Performing Arts Center to be a regular collaborator at the annual TPAC Director’s Lab, in Taipei Taiwan; a professional directing laboratory with a focus on directing and creating musical theatre.

Bill was the original Assistant Director on the creation of the TONY Award winning Jersey Boys directed by Des McAnuff, he was the Resident Director for the Broadway First National Tour of Disney’s award winning The Lion King directed by Julie Taymour, he was the Associate Director for the world premiere and Broadway production of The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm directed by Mark Lamos; he was also the Assistant Director to Sir Alan Ayckbourn on the U.S. premiere of Sir Ayckbourn’s and Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 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.

Bill served as an Assistant Artistic Director at Cirque du Soleil in Montreal, Chicago and New York City, Producing Artistic Director at Actor's Express in Atlanta Georgia, and Associate Producing Artistic Director of the TONY honored The Acting Company in NYC.

Bill has been the recipient of prestigious awards for his work around the country: he earned a Bay Area Critics Award nomination for Outstanding Direction of a Musical for the world premiere of the new musical Fly By Night at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, he won the Dallas Column Award for Outstanding Direction of a musical for Fly By Night at Dallas Theatre Center, he earned a Barrymore nomination for Outstanding Direction of a Musical for Herringbone at Flashpoint Theatre, he won 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, and again the following season he won the New York S.A.L.T. Award for Director of the Year and Production of the Year for his production of the musical Hairspray at Syracuse Stage, he was awarded the California K.P.B.S. Patte Award and the San Diego Playbill Award for Outstanding Direction of Brecht’s Edward II, his production of Bird Boy at Hartford Children’s Theatre won the Moss Hart Award by the New England Theatre Conference, and Bill was also awarded the prestigious Phil Killian Directing Fellowship at Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Bill is a proud member of the Drexel Theatre program. Bill has also taught at The Juilliard School, NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, University of California San Diego, Dartmouth College, Syracuse University, Emerson College, The University of the Arts, The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, Indiana State University, and Philadelphia’s Directors Gathering.

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