University of Missouri

About Dr. Larry Clark

Larry Clark
Larry Clark

An Acting Teacher’s Journey to “Acting is Believing”

Dr. Clark began his career in higher education at the University of Iowa in 1963. He came to MU in 1966 as an assistant professor of speech and dramatic art and founded the MU PhD Program in Theatre as well as its Summer Repertory Theatre Program. After a distinguished career as a teacher of acting and directing, during which he directed dozens of plays, Clark was selected as dean of MU's College of Arts and Science in 1988. He retired from the University in 1999 and now proudly holds the titles of both professor and dean emeritus. At the heart of Dr. Clark’s vision is this clear opening statement:

“Acting is believing”: what a simple definition, yet how complex the concept. Nevertheless, there it is—a challenge, a goal for your study and practice. To train as an actor is to train your ability to believe, to become able to exist in your believed but imaginary circumstances as if they were real, to command the technique to relate to other believers as if they were who they pretend to be, and to possess the tools to transmit clearly and artfully your beliefs to an audience.