Russell Vandenbroucke

Theatre Arts Professor, Founding Director, Peace, Justice & Conflict Transformation Program


Vandenbroucke earned his Doctor of Fine Arts from the Yale School of Drama and has worked as a director, dramaturg, playwright, and producer at regional theatres across the country including the Yale Repertory Theatre, Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Virginia Stage Company, and Chicago’s Northlight Theatre, which he served as artistic director for eleven seasons.

His plays include: Soldiers Circle, which dramatizes the lives of young American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan; Eleanor: In Her Own Words, adapted from the writings of Eleanor Roosevelt, recipient of an Emmy Award and broadcast on “American Playhouse” series of PBS; Atomic Bombers, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of Hiroshima, also on public radio; and School Play, inspired by the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. The Board of Education decision ending school desegregation, performed in Moscow and Perm, Russia, after touring Louisville. In addition to numerous articles, interviews, and op-ed pieces, he has published three books: Truths the Hand Can Touch: The Theatre of Athol Fugard (Theatre Communications Group), The Theatre Quotation Book: A Treasury of Insights and Insults (Limelight Editions), and Contemporary Australian Plays (Methuen), an anthology of plays. He teaches courses in script analysis, applied theatre, the enjoyment of theatre, and playwriting. He is Founding Director of the university’s Peace, Justice & Conflict Transformation Program.

Internationally, Vandenbroucke: was a Fulbright Scholar in Australia; a Rotary Foundation World Peace Fellow in Thailand where he adapted and directed An Evening with Global Peacemakers; covered Italy’s Spoleto Festival and the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa, for American Theatre magazine; delivered talks and presentations in Finland, Romania, and (then) East Germany for the State Department; traveled to Israel and Palestine through the Palestine American Research Center); and gave a series of talks on engaged art, American culture, and critical thinking in Vietnam and Japan, where he also made pilgrimages to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

He has directed dozens of plays at professional theatres around the country and at UofL, and he is a retired member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.