Jim VanValen, Associate Professor of Theatre and Head of Acting, teaches courses in basic and advanced acting, voice and movement, Meisner, advanced scene study, and auditioning. He spent the last two summers studying voice and text work with Patsy Rodenburg, OBE, the Head of Voice at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and he continues to perform professionally as an actor. A member of Actors’ Equity Association, Jim spent three years as a resident actor with the historic Barter Theatre and has worked throughout the country in such regional theatres as The Fulton Opera House, The Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble in Vermont, Florida’s Riverside Theatre, Florida Rep, Riverside Theatre in Iowa City, Riverside’s Theatre in the Park, Iowa Summer Rep, the Connecticut Theatre Festival, and North Carolina’s Temple Theatre.
He has served as an Adjunct Professor and Guest Artist at the University of Iowa, an Associate Director of The Arena Players Theatre in New York, and a Guest Director and Dialect Coach at the Old Creamery Theatre in Iowa. At Cornell he has directed Waiting for Godot, Avenue Q, A Lie of the Mind, Cabaret, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and Company. His professional acting credits include: Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey, Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, and Feste in Twelfth Night, as well as such productions as A Steady Rain, Hamlet, Ah, Wilderness, Stones in his Pockets, Our Town, The Mystery of Irma Vep, Rounding Third, Tuesdays With Morrie, and The Guys. Education: M.F.A. in Acting, University of Iowa; M.A. in Theatre Arts, State University of New York at Stony Brook; B.A. in English, State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Jim will direct our upcoming production of The Elephant Man.