dennis200Dennis McLernon is an Associate Professor and our Head of Performance. He is responsible for teaching all components of the acting curriculum as well as directing main-stage productions during the academic year. His directorial work for UAB has been recognized nationally as his production of Suzanne-Lori Park's In The Blood performed at the Terrace Theatre at The Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts as an invitee of the 2008 Kennedy Center American College National Theatre Festival. Regional recognition by KCACTF for "Excellence in Directing" has been awarded for his UAB productions of A Streetcar Named Desire, The House of Blue Leaves, In The Blood, and The Piano Lesson. Other directing credits at UAB include The Miser, The Tempest, The Seagull, The Body of a Woman as a Battlefield in the Bosnian War, Falsettos, and Hay Fever.

Dennis has been a member of the professional actor's union Actor's Equity Association for almost 25 years. In summer 2010 he was featured in the role of Prospero the Freeport Shakespeare Festival production of The Tempest, and returned to FSF to direct Twelfth Night for their 2011 summer season.

In 2009 Dennis was invited to direct The Laramie Project Ten Years Later: An Epilogue - a staged reading concurrent with over one hundred simultaneous staged readings coordinated internationally by Moises Kaufman and The Tectonic Theatre company on the night of October 12, 2009 to commemorate the 11 year anniversary of Matthew Shepard's murder.

In 2009 Dennis worked with Playwright Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder and Director Nancy Rominger on the première of The Flagmaker of Market Street in the featured role of George at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival's Southern Writers Project. Summer 2008 ASF audiences saw him playing a variety of roles in the Southern Writers Project as well as the well-meaning Mr Gladhand in West Side Story. During 2005 Dennis was a member of the acting ensemble with the Alabama Shakespeare Festival as Reverend Tooker in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, directed by Kent Thompson and in Coriolanus as Titus Lartius directed by ASF Artistic Director Geoffrey Sherman.

Since December of 2008 Dennis has had the privilege of conducting monthly acting workshops through the Alabama Department of Corrections with a group of very special men at the Donaldson Maximum Security Prison in Bessemer, Alabama.

In April 2007 the Kennedy Center/ American College Theatre Festival awarded Dennis the Actors Center Teacher Development KCACTF National Fellowship, completing two week residencies in 2007 and 2008 in New York City at The Actors Center working with Christopher Bayes, Head of Physical Acting Yale School of Drama, in clown and physicality; Ron Van Lieu: Chair of Acting, Yale School of Drama in contemporary scene work; Slava Dolgachev, Artistic Director, New Theatre of Moscow, in Stanislavski and Chekhov; as well as J. Michael Miller, founder of the Tisch School of the Arts, and William Esper, legendary acting teacher and protégé of Sanford Meisner.

Dennis is a founding company member of Birmingham's professional acting company, City Equity Theatre. In 2009 he directed Frankie and Johnny In The Claire De Lune. Other City Equity credits include American Buffalo (Director), Someone Who'll Watch Over Me (Edward), and The Cripple Of Innishmaan (Johnny Pateen Mike).

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