Loyola University Chicago

Department of Fine and Performing Arts

Faculty and Staff Directory

DeRon S. Williams, Ph.D.

Pronouns: He/Him
Title/s:  Assistant Professor of Theatre and Affiliate Faculty Member of the Institute for Racial Justice

Office #:  MUND 1315

Phone: 773.508.2728

Email: dwilliams41@luc.edu

External Webpage: https://www.deronswilliams.com/


DERON S. WILLIAMS (he/him) is a scholar, a freelance dramaturg and director, and an Assistant Professor of Theatre and Affiliate Faculty Member of the Institute for Racial Justice at Loyola University Chicago. He also serves as Loyola’s theatre program’s Dramaturgy Mentor, overseeing and mentoring students in production and new play development dramaturgy.

As a scholar of African American theatre, directing methods, pedagogies, and performance, Williams is the editor alongside Drs. Khalid Y. Long and Martine Kei Green-Rogers—of Contemporary Black Theatre & Performance: Acts of Rebellion, Activism, and Solidarity. As a part of Methuen’s Agitations: Politics, Text, Performance series, this text accentuates the expansiveness of Black theatre and performance and the ways in which the usage of conventional and nonconventional performance techniques persist to function as a vehicle of activism, rebellion, and solidarity. His scholarship has also appeared in The Journal of American Drama and Theatre and Continuum: The Journal of African Diaspora Drama. Williams is also working on two new book projects. The first one, A Cultural Experience: The Role of Theatre at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, is a series of essays dedicated to critically engaging with the history, culture, and innovative role that Historically Black Colleges and Universities have played in cultivating theatre within academia and beyond, including the examination of groundbreaking pioneers, historical and contemporary perspectives, institutional formations, innovative productions, and revolutionary curriculum development. The second project is inspired by Arthur Bartow's The Director's Voice, where artists share their process, advice on the craft of directing, and the exploration of their career development.

Williams's creative scholarship includes various new and canonical productions. He is especially interested in new play development, documentary theatre, musical theatre, and theatrical works created by Black artists with black centered stories. His directing and associate directing credits include Fairview (Loyola University Chicago), Trouble in Mind (Timeline Theatre); Africa to America: A Celebration of Who We Are, The Brothers Size, Blood at the Root (Eastern Connecticut State University); The Exonerated (Spectrum Theatre); The Lil’ Flo, and Big Moe Show! (Hartford Stage), Aladdin Jr., Mulan Jr. (Kennedy Center), Clybourne Park (Texas Tech University), Crowns (Albany State University), and two new play development projects at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Jump by Charly Evon Simpson and Leftovers by Josh Wilder. His dramaturgy credits include Notes from the Field, The Lehman Trilogy, Trouble in Mind, Boulevard of Bold Dreams (TimeLine Theatre); Toni Stone (Goodman); and Anon(ymous) (Middle Tennessee State). He has also worked as a new play development dramaturg for Organized Chaos by Pravin Wilkins, Annelies by Oded Gross, and Without a Formal Declaration of War by Anya Pearson during the Great Plains Theatre Conference (GPTC) in Omaha, NE. Williams is currently serving as Associate Director for Marriot Theatre’s production of 1776 and as director for Loyola University Chicago’s production of Anna Deavere Smith’s Notes from the Field.

As the recipient of multiple fellowships and awards, including the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Arts Research with Communities of Color (ARCC) Fellowship, North Star Collective (NSC) Faculty Fellowship, and Middle Tennessee State University’s Underrepresented Minority Dissertation Fellowship, Williams has presented research at national and international conferences and given invited talks at multiple high schools, colleges, and universities. He serves on the Community-Based Theatre and Civic Engagement award committee and Advocacy committee. He previously served on the Executive Board for the Black Theater Association, Region 1 – American College Theatre Festival, the August Wilson Society (AWS), and the National Association of Dramatic & Speech Arts, Inc. (NADSA). He is also an Associate Member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Union.

Williams holds a B.A. in Theatre from Albany State University (GA), an M.A. in Arts Administration from Eastern Michigan University, and a Ph.D. in Theatre from Texas Tech University. Before joining the faculty at Loyola University Chicago, he taught at Eastern Connecticut State University, Middle Tennessee State University, and Albany State University.


Ph.D., Fine Arts (Theatre and Performance), Texas Tech University
M.A., Arts Administration, Eastern Michigan University
B.A., Speech & Theatre (Theatre), Albany State University