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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

Dr. Malarcher took a sabbatical leave for 2009-2010, having received a Fulbright lectureship to teach “American Comedy as Cultural Mirror” at the University of Zagreb in Croatia. He found the experience exceeded his expectations and is already folding his new insights gleaned from the creative and scholarly work associated with the Fulbright into his research, especially his work on comedy theory. Read Dr. Malarcher’s weblog here:

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. His most recent professional dramaturgy work supported the world premiere of Larry Gelbart’s satire FLOODGATE, produced in New Orleans as a benefit for Hurricane Katrina arts community recovery.

As a playwright, he has had original plays produced at Southern Rep, Village Gate, the Contemporary Arts Center, and Positive Space Gallery. He has performed with the Summer Music Theatre at Muhlenberg, Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre, and 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 recently performed the title role in Frank Gagliano’s Father Uxbridge Wants to Marry to open the 2003-04 season. Glimpses of him may be seen in the films JFK (Oliver Stone) and Angel Heart (Alan Parker).

Professionally, Malarcher has directed extensively in Louisiana and everywhere he has taught. He directed the Spring 2000 production of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and the Fall 2000 production of Dancing at Lughnasa. For the 2001-02 season, Dr. Malarcher adapted It’s A Wonderful Life as the holiday offering, and he directed The Idiots Karamazovas the last show of the season. More recently, he directed Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile and The Philadelphia Story.

He is a former editor of the Southeastern Theatre Conference’s Theatre Symposium journal and coordinated two of its annual events. His book The Classically American Comedy of Larry Gelbart was published by The Scarecrow Press in 2004. He is currently working on a book of comedy theory, tentatively titled The Situation of Comedy, and a book on the “verbal semiotics” of theatre.