David A. Crespy, PhD
Richard Barr: The Playwrights' Producer
The Off-Off Broadway Explosion, (Watson-Guptill, 2003)
Lanford Wilson: Early Stories, Sketches and Poems
Ph.D.,City University of New York
Founder and Co-director, Writing for Performance Program
Founding Artistic Director of Missouri Playwrights Workshop, the Mizzou NewPlay Series, and Summer Rep's Comedies-in-Concert Series
David Crespy founded MU's Writing for Performance program and serves its Co-Director. He is the founding Artistic Director of MU's Missouri Playwrights Workshop, the Mizzou New Play Series, and Summer Rep's Comedies-in-Concert Series. His areas of research and teaching include playwriting, acting, dramatic literature, and theatre history. He has a special scholarly focus on dreamwork for playwriting and the plays of Edward Albee. He holds a BFA in Acting from Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts (where he studied with William Esper), an MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas, and a PhD in Theatre History, Theory, and Dramatic Literature from the City University of New York. David currently serves as the President of the Edward Albee Society, and has served as the Dramatist Guild Field Representative for the state of Missouri, and the resident playwright for First Run Theatre in St. Louis, MO. David's plays have been developed and produced at theatres across the US including the Cherry Lane Theatre, River Union Stage, NJ Dramatists, Playwrights Theatre of NJ, Nebraska Repertory Theatre, Primary Stages, The Cherry Lane Theatre, The Playwrights Center, HB Playwrights Foundation, Austin Melodrama, Jewish Repertory Theatre, Talking Horse Theatre, Stages St. Louis, First Run Theatre (St. Louis), and Creative Theatre Unlimited.
David is the former Region V National Playwriting Program Chair through the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, and hasserved as chair of the Playwriting Program for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and the Playwrights Symposium of the Mid-America Theatre Conference. His major plays include William & Bettie, Parabolis, Men Dancing, The Queens Orphans, Seven Were Hanged, Tekìya, Beshert; Or the Jewish Dating Cycle, Houseblend; Or Coffeecake Tsimmis; Or My Bubby & Zeyde Are From Outer Space!, and The Sudden Glide. His plays have been finalists in the David Mark Cohen Award, the Playwrights Conference of the O'Neill Theatre Center, and the National Ten-Minute Play Festival of Actors Theatre of Louisville. He has been a featured playwright and Director of the Play Lab for the Great Plains Theatre Conference in Omaha, Nebraska and the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska. Dr. Crespy is the recipient of the 21st Century Playwrights Festival, the 2011 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Gold Medallion, the 2010 Region V Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Road Warrior Award, the University of Missouri Summer Research Fellowship, Provosts Research Leave, and Excellence in Education Award. Over 60 of his playwriting students have been recognized as regional finalists with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) and 20 have received national recognition through KCACTF as well. Dr. Crespy has been instrumental in bringing major American playwrights, scholars and theatre artists to the University of Missouri, including Edward Albee, Tony Kushner, John Guare, Lanford Wilson, Kim Marra, William Yellow Robe, Mac Wellman, Robert Schanke, Lynn Nottage, Romulus Linney, Rick Sordelet, Caridad Svich, Elaine Romero, Lindsey Alley Elizabeth Ashley, Marshall Mason, among many others.
His publications include The Off-Off Broadway Explosion, (Watson-Guptill, 2003), his book about New York's off-off Broadway in the 1960s (with a foreword by Edward Albee). His articles have appeared in The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Theatre History Studies, New England Theatre Journal, Latin American Theatre Review, The Dramatist, Slavic and East European Performance and www.glbtq.com. His plays and essays may be found in Perfect Ten (Gary Garrison, ed., Heinemann), Playwriting Master Class (Michael Wright, ed., Heineman), Monologues for Men by Men (Gary Garrison, Ed., Heinemann), Angels in American Theatre (Robert Schanke, ed., Southern Illinois University Press), and The Influence of Tennessee Williams (Philip Kolin, Ed., McFarland). Dr. Crespy has been working with Edward Albee as a scholar since 1994, and his most recent book is Richard Barr: The Playwrights' Producer (SIU Press, March 2013), about Broadway producer, Richard Barr, the producer of Mr. Albee's plays and former president of the League of American Theatres and Producers (with a foreword and afterword by Edward Albee). His current book projects include Lanford Wilson: Selected Short Stories and Poetry (with Jonathan Thirkield), Dreamwrighting: Dreamwork for Dramatic Writing For Stage & Screen, and the third volume of New Perspectives on Edward Albee Studies. His current play projects include Wallace's Line, a play that explores the tenuous line between science and faith; Stars in the Sky, A Civil War Romance, which is a new musical (written with music composed by Emeritus Professor James M. Miller) based on the letters of William and Bettie Hill, separated during the Civil War in Missouri, and Gehinnom; or, The Darkness of our Blessing, which is a dramatization of the events surrounding a controversial charismatic Jewish leader, and The Sad Girl, a new play about a soothsayer, murder, and insidious libidinous influence of board games.