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Jeffery Kennedy

Associate Professor
Faculty, WEST Campus, Mailcode 2151
Faculty Associate
Faculty, WEST Campus, Mailcode 2151
Faculty Associate
Faculty, WEST Campus, Mailcode 2151
Biography

Jeffery Kennedy is an Associate Professor in the School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies at Arizona State University, where he is celebrating his 19th year of teaching courses in interdisciplinary arts and performance. He served as the West campus artistic director from 2002-2006, and then again from 2012-2015, where he was the producer of the campus series of artistic and cultural events. The focus of his teaching is the building blocks of the elements and structures of art-making genres, concepts and methodology used in creating interdisciplinarity art and performance. He also teaches American theatre and music history, courses in music composition, voice for the performer, and graduate courses in interdisciplinary concepts and research methodology. As a music theatre professional, he worked on production staffs for Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, and also has been a music director and pianist for Broadway performers that include Pamela Myers, Carol Lawrence and Jubilant Sykes. An award-winning composer, arranger and producer, he has many recordings in gospel and choral music and traveled as a pianist for the Bill Gaither Trio and Gaither Vocal Band for a number of years, also accompanying vocal artists Sandi Patty, Larnelle Harris, and Michelle Pillar. While a teaching fellow at New York University, he was the founder and producer in 1998 with Lowell Swortzell of the award-winning "New Plays for Young Audiences" reading series at the Provincetown Playhouse, which continues today. In 1997-98, he designed the Playhouse’s historical gallery and has since become a recognized scholar on the Playhouse and its history. In June 2008, he launched a research website about the Playhouse, is a past president of the Eugene O'Neill International Society, and now serves as a member of the society's board and was the chair of their 2011 international conference in New York City. He recently contributed to the centennial celebration installations of the 1913 Armory Show for the New York Historical Society, and the centennial of Eugene O'Neill's first play Bound East for Cardiff at "The Great Provincetown Summer of 1916" at the Provincetown Museum/Pilgrim Monument (curated by Sam Tager).

As a performing artist, his recent productions include Liberace! (one-man, two-act play), and End of the Rainbow (actor and pianist, character of Anthony) at Phoenix Theatre; Words and Music by Samuel Beckett and Morton Feldman (Director and performer, character of Words) for the inaugaral International Beckett Conference; five years as a music director of Phoenix Theatre’s Hormel New Works Festival; four years as the music director of the Phoenix Symphony/Phoenix Theatre concert productions of South Pacific, My Fair LadyOliver, and "An Evening with Rodgers and Hammerstein;" and he received the 2016 AriZoni Award as Best Music Director for the Phoenix Theatre production of The Toxic Avenger and also in 2014 for their production of Avenue Q.  He most recently was music director for the Phoenix Theatre productions of Fun Home, directed by Robert Kolby Harper, and The Scottsboro Boys, directed by Jeff Whiting.  He has conducted for Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx in a tribute concert to Ray Charles that featured a line-up of jazz all-stars, and directed Arizona premiere productions that have included Passing Strange by Stew and Heidi Rodewalk, Floyd Collins and Myths and Hymns: Saturn Returns by Adam Guettel; James Joyce’s The Dead; a revue of the music of John Bucchino It's Only Life; the world premiere of Daniel Lentz’s Café Desire (also performed for the Other Minds Festival in San Francisco) and the world premiere live performance of Handel’s Messiah: A Soulful Celebration at Phoenix's Orpheum Theatre. For iTheatre Collaborative, he created, directed and performed in their Holiday Cabaret for 13 years at the Herberger Theatre Center.  He is a member of the professional actor's union Actor's Equity.  

Kennedy has a bachelor's degree in music from California State University, Fullerton, and a master's degree and doctorate in educational theatre from New York University. His new book Staging America: The Artistic Legacy of the Provincetown Players, an exhaustive history of the Players, will be published next year, and he has published multiple articles in the Eugene O'Neill Review, and chapters in books such as Visions of Tragedy in American Theatre (edited by David Palmer), Eugene O'Neill's One Act Plays (edited by Michael Bennett and Benjamin Carson), Eugene O'Neill and his Contemporaries: Bohemians, Radicals, Progressives, and Lefties (edited by Robert Dowling and Eileen Herrmann), Critical Insights: Eugene O'Neill (edited by Steven Bloom), and the Eugene O'Neill Companion (edited by Robert Dowling). He was awarded in 2012 the Outstanding Teacher Award-Lecturer by New College and in 2015 was given the Champion of the Arts Award by the West Valley Arts Council for his work as the West campus artistic director. He is the recent recipient of a Fulbright Scholar's Award and will be spending six months in London at the British Library researching his next book, an interdisciplinary American theatre history text.

Education
  • Ph.D. Educational Theatre, New York University
  • M.A. Educational Theatre, New York University
  • B.A. Music, California State University, Fullerton
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
IAP 324The Voice and Performance
THE 420Theatre in America
IAP 420Theatre in America
AMS 420Theatre in America
MAS 590Reading and Conference
MAS 598Special Topics
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
IAP 201Intro to Interdisciplinary Art
IAP 321Music Composition I
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
IAP 202Persp Interdisc Arts & Perfrmn
THE 420Theatre in America
IAP 420Theatre in America
AMS 420Theatre in America
IAP 480Senior Project
MAS 598Special Topics
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
IAP 201Intro to Interdisciplinary Art
IAP 301Energetic Syst of Art: Collab
IAP 480Senior Project
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
IAP 201Intro to Interdisciplinary Art
IAP 321Music Composition I
IAP 499Individualized Instruction
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
IAP 202Persp Interdisc Arts & Perfrmn
IAP 324The Voice and Performance
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
IAP 201Intro to Interdisciplinary Art
IAP 304Trads/Avant-Garde Expermtl Art
HON 493Honors Thesis
Summer 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
MUS 356Broadway&the American Musical
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
THE 100Introduction to Theatre
IAP 202Persp Interdisc Arts & Perfrmn
Presentations
  • Jeff Kennedy. "Home and Homelessness". Eugene O'Neill International Conference, New London, CT (Jun 2014).
  • Jeff Kennedy. "Diff’rent: O’Neill’s view of family in the Provincetown Playhouse Plays.". Eugene O'Neill International Conference, New London, CT (Jun 2014).
  • Jeff Kennedy. George Cram Cook’s ‘Beloved Community of Life-Givers’: The Provincetown Players as Communal Experiment. Société d’Etudes Modernistes (French Modernist Society) Conference, Paris, France (Apr 2014).
  • Jeff Kennedy. African American Influence on Broadway. Director's Forum, Phoenix Theatre (Jan 2014).
  • Jeff Kennedy. O'Neill and the City. Modern Language Association Convention, Chicago, IL (Jan 2014).
  • Kim Orcutt (NY Historical Society), curator; Casey Nelson Blake (Columbia University), historical research coordinator; Jeff Kennedy, contributor, research consultant. The Armory Show at 100. The Armory Show at 100: New York Historical Society, New York, NY (Oct 2013).
  • Jeff Kennedy. "The War Bill": War on the Stage of the Provincetown Players. American Literature Association Conference (May 2013).
  • Jeff Kennedy. La Cage Aux Folles - The Legacy of a Musical. Phoenix Theatre - OSHER Lifelong Learning Event (Feb 2013).
  • Jeff Kennedy. Pop Vocal Singing in Group Settings. Musical Theatre of Anthem Summer Camp (Jul 2012).
  • Jeff Kennedy. Exorcism: The Context, the Critics, the Creation and the Discovery. American Literature Association Conference (May 2012).
  • Jeff Kennedy. Exorcism: The Context, the Critics, the Creation and the Discovery. American Literature Association Conference (May 2012).
  • Jeff Kennedy. Gypsy: The Front and Backstage Story. Phoenix Theatre OSHER Lifelong Learning Event (Feb 2012).
  • Jeff Kennedy. "Transformative Theatre Historiography: The Use of Interdisciplinary Approaches and Methodology in Scholarly Theatre Research". American Theatre in Higher Education National Conference (Aug 2011).
  • Jeff Kennedy. "O’Neill in Bohemia: The History of the Provincetown Playhouse" Presented in the Provincetown Playhouse. Eugene O'Neill International Conference (Jun 2011).
  • Jeff Kennedy. "Experiment in Staging American Identity: The Company Experience of The Provincetown Players". Mid-America Theatre Conference (Mar 2011).
  • Jeff Kennedy. Presentation of New Web Site, also Board Meeting. International Conference of Eugene O'Neill Society (Jun 2008).
Service
  • Travis Bogard Research Library, Tao House (Danville, CA), Eugene O'Neill Foundation, Archival Advisor (2014 - Present)
  • Curriculum and Assessment Committee for IAP Program, Member (2008 - Present)
  • Senior Projects and Internships, Supervisor (2008 - Present)
  • MAIS Admissions Committee, Member (2001 - Present)
  • Artistic Events Coordination Team, Marketing, Scheduling, Budgeting Supervisor (2014 - 2015)
  • ACETS Evaluator for Music Classes in New College, Evaluator (2014 - 2014)
  • OSHER Lifelong Learning Course - America's Theatrical Past: The 20th Century, Instructor (2013 - 2014)
  • ASU West Campus, Artistic Director (2014 - 2014)
  • West Campus Engagement Committee, Member (2014 - 2014)
  • ACETS, Evaluator of Music Courses (2013 - 2013)
  • ASU West Campus, Artistic Director (2013 - 2013)
  • Events Advisory Board, Chair (2013 - 2013)
  • IAP Curriculum Committee and IAP class scheduling, Advisor (2013 - 2013)
  • Supervisor of all IAP Senior Projects/Internship for completion of IAP 480, Faculty Supervisor (2013 - 2013)
  • West Campus Engagement Committee, Member (2013 - 2013)
  • Eugene O'Neill Society, Vice President (2012 - 2013)
  • Eugene O'Neill Society, Vice President (2012 - 2013)
  • OSHER Lifelong Learning Course - America's Theatre Past, Instructor (2013 - 2013)
  • Project Humanities Steering Committee, Member (2013 - 2013)
  • OSHER Lifelong Learning Course - America's Theatrical Past, Instructor (2013 - 2013)
  • Project Humanities Steering Committee, Member (2012 - 2012)
  • Events Advisory Board, Chair (2012 - 2012)
  • Events Managers Committee, Chair (2012 - 2012)
  • Master Calendar Working Committee, Chair (2012 - 2012)
  • NCIAS Events Advisory Board, Chair (2012 - 2012)
  • ASU West Campus, Artistic Director (2012 - 2012)
  • New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, West Campus Artistic Director (2012 - 2012)
  • IAP Curriculum Committee, Director of SHARCS, and SHARCS class scheduling, Advisor (2012 - 2012)
  • Supervisor of all IAP Senior Projects/Internship for completion of IAP 480, Faculty Supervisor (2012 - 2012)
  • Supervisor of all IAP Senior Projects/Internship for completion of IAP 480, Faculty Supervisor (2012 - 2012)
  • West Campus Engagement Committee, Member (2012 - 2012)
  • West Campus Engagement Committee, Member (2012 - 2012)
  • OSHER Lifelong Learning, Instructor (2012 - 2012)
  • OSHER Lifelong Learning Course - American Music: Connecting the Dots, Instructor (2012 - 2012)
  • AriZoni Awards, Judge (2011 - 2012)
  • OSHER Lifelong Learning, Instructor (2012 - 2012)
  • OSHER Lifelong Learning Course - Sondheim and Kander & Ebb: Musical Theatre end of the 20th Century, Instructor (2012 - 2012)
  • Phoenix Theatre, Guest Lecturer (2012 - 2012)
  • Eugene O'Neill Society, Board Member (2011 - 2011)
  • Supervisor of all IAP Senior Projects/Internship for completion of IAP 480, Faculty Supervisor (2011 - 2011)
  • OSHER Lifelong Learning, Instructor (2011 - 2011)
  • Eugene O'Neill Society International Conference, Chair (2011 - 2011)
  • Curriculum and Assessment Committee for IAP Program, Chair (2011 - 2011)
  • Black History Month Committee, Member (2006 - 2008)
  • Assessment Criteria Committee for IAP Dept, One of two members who prepares annual assessment evaluation reports for our department for submission to the university (2006 - 2007)
  • MAIS Admissions and Scholarship Committee, one of three members that reviews all applications for admission to the MAIS Graduate program (2006 - 2007)
  • Dept of Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance, Leader/Facilitator (2006 - 2006)
  • Event: Premiere reading of "Getting Near to Baby" by Y York, Producer (2006 - 2006)
  • Event: Floyd Collins - Musical Theatre presenataion, Director and Producer, supervising all aspects of performance, as well as production and marketing (2006 - 2006)
  • Black History Month Committee, Served a committee member organizing and carrying out month-long events (2005 - 2006)
  • Martin Luther King Week Committee, Organized public event: West Side Poetry Jam (2005 - 2006)