Spotlight on L. Dean Adams: A genuine love for theater and performance
By Vanessa H. Fardin
L. Dean Adams
Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies L. Dean Adams instills the value of hard work and a genuine love for theater and performance in his students. As the artistic director of the department, he believes that to pursue a career in theatre, a person must be “self sufficient and have the ability to create meaningful work.”
Adams earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in directing from Florida State University and a Master of Arts degree in communications and theatre from the University of Maryland. He has been teaching for 21 years and joined the of Kennesaw State University in 2002. “I’ve always loved teaching,” he says. “And like the saying goes, ‘you don’t pursue theatre, theatre pursues you.’ I think that is particularly true in my case. I enjoy teaching as much as working in theatre. As I get older, the students stay the same age, and their energy and ability to try new things is what I like about the university.” Adams enjoys working at KSU and sees its experienced and professional members as committed to guiding their students to pursue a career in the field of theater and performance.
In addition to teaching, Adams is the founding artistic director of the Centennial Theatre Festival in Simsbury, Connecticut where he has directed such productions as William Shakespeare’s “Love's Labour's Lost” and the character adaptation of Moliere’s Les Fourberies de Scapin in “Scapino!” The festival recently celebrated its 19th anniversary. “There is nothing more exciting than a live performance,” Adams believes. “The best theater comes from good solid writing, solid performances and an audience who is interested in the performance. In theater, the most exciting thing is the thing to come. It’s about the moment because what we create is ethereal.”
Adams is excited about the KSU production of “Bat Boy” that will be produced this coming season. He also looks forward to the department’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors,” as well as August Wilson’s “Fences” because of its universal themes. He is proud of the department’s accomplishments. “We are the first company out of New York to produce Flannery O’Connor’s ‘Everything That Rises Must Converge,’” he says, “and our production of ‘Moby Dick’ will travel to Morocco this summer.”
Adams describes himself as an “enabler” who welcomes new challenges and constantly finds new ways of communicating and teaching. He has been the recipient of the Service Award and the Teaching Award at Kennesaw State University.