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Jay Malarcher

Associate Professor, Theatre History & Criticism

Program Director, Theatre History & Criticism 

PhD – Louisiana State University

MA – St. John’s College
BA – Loyola University

Among his many international accomplishments, Dr. Malarcher received a Fulbright lectureship for the 2009-2010 school year to teach “American Comedy as Cultural Mirror” at the University of Zagreb in Croatia. He found the experience exceeded his expectations and has folded the new insights gleaned from his creative and scholarly work into his research, especially his work on comedy theory. 


His professional experience includes teaching at Muhlenberg College, the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now ULL) and Louisiana State University, as well as serving as dramaturg with the Dog & Pony Theatre Company, Swine Palace Productions, the McCarter Theatre, the King William Players and Playmakers Professional Children’s Theatre. He served as dramaturg for the world premiere of Larry Gelbart’s satire FLOODGATE, produced in New Orleans as a benefit for Hurricane Katrina arts community recovery. Also in his native New Orleans, he dramaturged for several years, garnering a Big Easy Award for the Dog & Pony Theatre Company’s Dancing at Lughnasa. His television writing (and acting) includes Morgus Presents in the 1980s. For the stage, he has had original plays produced at Southern Rep, Village Gate, the Contemporary Arts Center, and Positive Space Gallery. Malarcher adapted It’s A Wonderful Life for the WVU mainstage and most recently for West Virginia Public Theatre. His current script, The FEMA Inspector, will be produced in the summer of 2021. 


As an actor, he has performed with the Summer Music Theatre in Allentown, Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre, the Dog & Pony Theatre Company, among others. In 2001, he appeared in the 100 Monkeys production of Four Dogs and a Bone at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. At WVU, he has performed the role of Franklin in It’s a Wonderful Life and performed the title role in Frank Gagliano’s Father Uxbridge Wants to Marry. He has appeared in West Virginia Public Theatre’s recent A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum as Senex, and in their Romeo and Juliet as the Prince. Glimpses of him may be seen in the films JFK (Oliver Stone) and Angel Heart (Alan Parker). Those with an affinity for television game shows may have seen him compete on Jeopardy!, The Weakest Link, Wheel of Fortune, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.


Malarcher has directed extensively in Louisiana and everywhere he has taught. At WVU, he has directed Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Idiots Karamazov, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, The Philadelphia Story, and Arsenic & Old Lace . Recently, he directed Euripides’ The Trojan Women, using a translation by Canadian poet Gwendolyn MacEwen. His most recent directing efforts include Venus in Furand You Can’t Take It with You, both at WVU.



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