David S. Leong ’73 was the first student to graduate from UNH with a degree in Children’s Theatre. Forty years later, his career is still going strong. David shared some thoughts on his long career and the many ways his theatre degree from UNH prepared him for a lifetime of success.
Bio: David S. Leong’s academic and professional career spans more than three decades in higher education and professional theatre. Since 1996, he has held the rank of Full Professor and the title of Chair and Producer of the Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Theatre.
Throughout his career, he has coached hundreds of people who went on to experience success on Broadway, TV and film, regional theatre and universities across the United States. He has served on hundreds of search committees for Deans, Chairs, Program Directors and Faculty as well as coached professional actors On and Off Broadway and regional theatres. Over 75 former students and clients currently hold faculty appointments on college and university theatre faculties.
David also devotes his time to coaching executives in the areas of public presentation: elevator pitches, power point, conducting Q and A’s, and interviewing skills. His clients have included include CEOs and managers from Hamilton Beach Brands, Federal Reserve Bank, Altria, The Berkley Mid-Atlantic Group, the daVinci Center for Design and Innovation, and many more.
In the field of higher education, David serves as an accreditation consultant and evaluator for the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) and is a member of the Board of Trustees for the National Theatre Conference. In April 2013, David will be inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre at the John F. Kennedy Center. Investiture is reserved “to honor distinguished service and notable accomplishment by individuals of recognized national stature.”
As an educator, David has held faculty appointments at the Juilliard School, Brandeis University, University of Maryland, Northern Kentucky University and the University of Montevallo in addition to teaching master classes and workshops for college and university programs across America.
In the professional arena, David has coached movement or choreographed the fights for 16 Broadway shows including Billy Elliot, The Civil War, Carousel, Hamlet, and Macbeth. His work has been seen on the stages of most every regional theatre in America. Stories on David’s work have been featured in The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Washington Post and the Today Show on NBC.