Fred Curchack

Professor - Arts And Humanities

Professional Preparation

M.A. - Theatre Arts
Queens College, New York, Theatre - 1972
B.A. - Theatre Arts
Queens College - 1970
HS - Drama
H.S. of Performing Arts - NY - 1964


Wrote, directed, acted in 78 original plays produced internationally. - publications


Professor of Art and Performance
The University of Texas at Dallas [1986–Present]
Theatre Instructor
Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California [1978–1985]
Theatre Instructor
United Nations International School, New York [1974–1976]

Additional Information

  •  Guggenheim and six NEA Fellowships, Grants from Creative Capital, Jim Henson Foundation, Arts International, USIS (see below). U.S. representative at dozens of international theatre festivals.
  •  Numerous newspaper articles and reviews of new shows published every year (available upon request).
  •  Two-page feature article on theater work and on teaching at UTD. 2010.
  •  NOH: Angels, Demons, & Dreamers selected as one of the “Top Ten Theatre Productions of 2007” by The Dallas Morning News critic Lawson Taitte. 2007.
  •  Golden Buddha Beach selected as one of the "Top 10 Plays in the SF Bay Area 2005” by Sonoma Valley Sun critic Ron Singer. 2005
  •  Gauguin's Shadow selected as "Best New Play" by the Dallas/Fort Worth Theatre Critics Forum and as "Top Ten Theatre of 2004" by The Dallas Morning News critic Tom Sime.
  •  Stuff As Dreams Are Made On cited by theatre critic Lawson Taitte in The Dallas Morning News as one of the world's "very best works in all genres that were inspired by a Shakespeare play." 2004.
  •  Grant from the Jim Henson Foundation to develop Gauguin's Shadow. 2001-2002.
  •  Work cited in The Paris Jigsaw – Internationalism and the city’s stages, Manchester University Press, 2002.
  •  Sexual Mythology part 2: PURGATORY discussed in Dante and Music by Maria Ann Roglieri. Ashgate Publishing, 2001.
  •  Work cited by Mel Gussow in The Cambridge History of American Theatre (Volume III). Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  •  Grant and additional funding from the Creative Capital Foundation to develop Lear's Shadow. 1999 - 2000.
  •  Grant from the Jim Henson Foundation to develop Lear's Shadow. 1999 - 2000.
  •  Stuff As Dreams Are Made On selected for the "Top Ten Theater Productions of the Decade" by The Austin Chronicle. 2000.
  •  Feature articles in The Dallas Morning News and The Dallas Observer. 2000.
  •  “Outstanding Performance Award” from the Dallas Theatre Critics’ Forum for A Surprise Party. 1998.
  •  Grant from USIS to perform and teach at Festival International de Theatre Universitaire de Casablanca (first American to perform in festival’s 11 year history). 1998.
  •  Work discussed in books, Masked Performance by John Emigh and in Theater on the Edge by Mel Gussow. 1998.
  •  Orpheus in Hollywood: a Myth Mash chosen by the Dallas Morning News theater critic Lawson Taitte for “Top Ten of 1997.”
  •  Arts International Grant for Travel to Journées Theatràles du Carthage Festival. 1997.
  •  Cover story on Orpheus in Hollywood in the Dallas Morning News “Weekend Guide.” 1997.
  •  Radio interviews on “Forum” (KQED, SF); “Curtain Call” (KCRB, Sonoma County CA); “Art Matters” (WRR, Dallas). 1997.
  •  Included in New York Times Sunday Magazine article "Shakespeare in America" (with photo). 1996.
  •  Received grant from Arts International to represent the U.S. at the Carthage International Theatre Festival, Tunis, Tunisia. 1995.
  •  Received grant from USIS for travel to Tunisia to collaborate with director Tawfiq Jeballi. 1995.
  •  Extended 11 week run of 3 original plays at The Odyssey Theater. Received "Critics Choice" citations in all 5 Los Angeles newspapers and was chosen as "Best Theater of the Week" by The Los Angeles Times. 1995.
  •  Performed at Gala Opening of the New Victory Theater on Broadway, 1995.
  •  STUFF AS DREAMS ARE MADE ON received six awards from The Austin Circle of Theatres: Best Production, Actor, Original Script, Light Design, Costumes, Props. 1994.
  •  Work cited in The Revisionist Stage – American Directors Reinvent the Classics by Amy S. Green. Cambridge University Press, 1994.
  •  NEA Special Projects/Individuals Grant to create ABEL AND CAIN: a Biblical Debacle in collaboration with Daniel and Paule Stein. 1993-94.
  •  STUFF AS DREAMS ARE MADE ON chosen as Best Theatre Performance of 1993 by Robert Faires, critic of the Austin Chronicle.
  •  Called "a Texas genius" in a weekend cover story by Michael Barnes, theater critic of the Austin American Statesman. 1993.
  •  U.S. Representative to perform at Festival Mundial Teatro de las Naciones, Santiago, Chile. Received Arts America Touring Grant. 1993.
  •  U.S.I.S. funding to perform at Festival du Carthage, Tunis. 1993.
  •  "Laughing Waters" chosen as Children's Album of the Year by Parents Choice Magazine. 1993.
  •  U.S. Representative - First American ever to perform at Festival du Carthage, the pre-eminent African Theatre Festival. USIS Funding. 1993.
  •  Dallas Theatre Critics' Forum "Outstanding Performance Award" for WHAT FOOLS THESE MORTALS BE. 1992.
  •  WHAT FOOLS... selected by both Dallas Morning News theater critics for their "Top Ten of 1992" lists.
  •  WHAT FOOLS... cited by Dallas Morning News critic Jerome Weeks as one of his "all-time favorites" and STUFF... cited as his "number one favorite performance" in six years of reviewing in Dallas. 1992.
  •  Voted "Best Performance Artist" by the Dallas Observer Readers' Poll. 1992.
  •  Selected to represent the U.S. at the Theatre of Nations Festival in Santiago, Chile. 1993.
  •  Funding for tour to Montevideo by Arts International. 1992.
  •  Jury member, International Festival of Solo Theatre and Mime, Belgrade. 1991.
  •  Resident Artist - American College Theatre Festival; Sonoma State University, California. 1991.
  •  American Theatre Wing Award for Design of Stuff As Dreams Are Made On. 1990.
  •  Gold Medal, International Festival of Solo Theatre, Belgrade, for Stuff... 1990.
  •  U.S.I.A. Funding for tour of Yugoslavia. 1990.
  •  National Endowment for the Arts, Solo Performance Fellowships. 1991; 1990; 1989; 1987.
  •  NEA Inter-Arts Grant to create Cain and Abel with Daniel Stein at The Theatre Project, Baltimore. 1989-1990.
  •  NEA Theatre Special Project Grant to create and perform Sexual Mythology part 2: Purgatory and part 3: Heaven. 1989-1991.
  •  The University of Texas Research Grant for developing new work. 1989.
  •  NEA Theatre Special Project Grant to create and perform Sexual Mythology part 1: The Underworld at Movement Theatre International. Additional funding from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. 1989.
  •  Works cited as "Critics Choice" by the major Dallas newspapers: Sexual Mythology part 3: HEAVEN - or - The Big Talk Show, Sexual Mythology part 2: Purgatory, Sexual Mythology part 1: The Underworld, Stuff As Dreams Are Made On, Inquest for Freddy Chickan, Fred Breaks Bread with the Dead, Uncle Vanya.
  •  Stuff As Dreams Are Made On selected as one of the "ten most noteworthy theatre productions of 1989" by Mel Gussow, The New York Times. 1989.
  •  Feature on work aired nationally on NPR's "Morning Edition." 1989.
  •  Sexual Mythology part 1: The Underworld selected by Dallas Observer Readers' Poll as "Most Daring and Courageous Theatre Production of 1989."
  •  Board of Advisors, International Movement Theatre Festival, Philadelphia. 1989-1992.
  •  "Special Award" for Inquest for Freddy Chickan and for Stuff As Dreams Are Made On from the Dallas Theatre Critics Forum. 1987.
  •  Outstanding Achievement Award from the S.F. Chronicle for Fred Breaks Bread with the Dead. 1985.
  •  Hollywood Dramalogue Award for Stuff As Dreams Are Made On. 1983.
  •  Bay Area Critics Award for Incarnation. 1982. 
  •  Received the American Theater Wing Award for Design for Stuff As Dreams Are Made On. 1990.
  •  Designed and built sets, masks, puppets, costumes, lights, and made videos for: Synthesis: An Idiot’s Guide to Death and Rebirth; Milarepa; Monkey: The Quest to the West; NOH: Angels, Demons & Dreamers; An American Dream Play; Golden Buddha Beach; Gauguin's Shadow; Dionysos Does Dallas; Glimpsings; Lear's Shadow; Live Love Acts; The Last Night of Don Juan; Hamlet: Carnal, Bloody, & Unnatural Acts; The Secret Life of UTD; A Surprise Party; Orpheus in Hollywood (live and video versions); The Comeback of Freddy Chickan; The Making of the American Entertainment Industry’s Tribute to Freddy Chickan; The Wanderings of Odysseus; ABEL & CAIN: A Biblical Debacle; THE SHOW: A Metatheatrical Hodgepodg; HEDDY & TEDDY: A Closet Drama; What Fools These Mortals Be; FAMILY VALUES: A Closet Drama; Sexual Mythology part 3: HEAVEN, part 2: PURGATORY, part 1: The UNDERWORLD; Inquest for Freddy Chickan; Project Job; A Christmas Carol; Stuff As Dreams Are Made On, Fred Breaks Bread with the Dead; Incarnations; In Tents. . .; The Mental Traveller; The Singing Cock; All Hallows' Eve; Hamlet Kathakali, Shunkan, Ain't It the Truth?, Purgatory; Exorcise in Love and War. . ., The Dance of Life and Breath, Dream of Danang; Metaphysics in Mecklenberg Street.
  •  Designed and developed theatre facility at the United Nations International School - including modular stage, acoustic curtains, seating, lighting system, scene shop. Helped write several successful grant proposals. 1974-1976.
  •  Assisted in construction of 300-seat theatre, including stage, seating, lighting system at The Space for Innovative Development, New York. 1973-1974.
  •  Assisted in the construction of an authentic Noh Stage at the Kita Noh Institute of America, Boston. 1972.
  •  New York Shakespeare Festival Mobile Theatre. Tech crew, toured New York City parks. 1964.
Personal Statement
A working theater artist and teacher, I've written and performed seventy-eight original theater pieces (fifty-one ensemble works and twenty-seven solos). My performances have received international acclaim.

Research includes world theater, literature, music, video, photography, visual art, dance, philosophy, psychology, comparative religions and ritual practices.

Many former students are now artistic directors of theater companies, working actors, directors, writers, and teachers. My work as a teacher focuses on helping students to develop the tools, the awareness, and the confidence to create their own work.

After receiving a drama degree from the High School of Performing Arts in N.Y., and a BA and MA in Theater from Queens College, I studied Indian Kathakali with Krishnan Nambudiri, Japanese Noh with Sadayo Kita, Balinese Topeng with Nyomen Wenten, choreography with Alwin Nikolais, and I trained with Grotowski's Polish Theater Lab. Before coming to UTD, I taught theatre at the United Nations International School, N.Y. and Sonoma State University, California.

My performances have been featured at dozens of international theatre festivals (Next Wave-BAM, Theatre of Nations, Theater der Welt, Theatre des Ameriques...). I have received the Gold Medal at the International Festival of Solo Theatre, the American Theatre Wing Award, Critics' Awards in L.A., S.F., Dallas, Austin, and my work has been "Best of the week" in the L.A. Times, "Top ten of the year" in The New York Times, "Top ten of the decade" in the Austin Chronicle, and in the "Top ten of all-time" in The Dallas Morning News. I've received funding from Creative Capital, the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts International, The Henson Foundation and I am a Guggenheim Fellow.

News Articles

Fred Curchack to perform Through Roses at the University of Texas at Dallas
University of Texas at Dallas genius-in-residence Fred Curchack will be featured in an exciting-sounding show at the school at 8 p.m. on March 30. Through Roses is a music drama for actor and eight instruments by composer Mark Neikrug. (We used to hear more about the composer years ago when his frequent duet partner Pinchas Zukerman was principal guest conductor at the Dallas Symphony.) Through Roses is about a violinist who survived the Holocaust. The former concertmaster and founder of the splendiferous Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Guillermo Figueroa, will conduct the performers, many of whom are prominent DSO members. Horn player Gregory Hustis will also perform Simon Sargon’s The Weeping Shofar and the Clavier Trio will play Aaron Copland’s Vitebsk. Pretty much anything Curchack does is worth watching. He projects a kind of hypnotic power — and this is a rare opportunity to see him performing something he didn’t write himself. Call 972-883-2552 or click here for tickets.
Drama Professor Fred Curchack Reigns on Stage as King Lear
UT Dallas drama professor Fred Curchack is starring in the titular role of Shakespeare Dallas’ production of “King Lear” alongside teaching courses on performing the English playwright’s works.
Curchack knows the play inside and out. Having already experienced it in every medium, Curchack has taught the subject matter to undergraduate and graduate students, and he also wrote and produced a two-person play based on the work, “Lear’s Shadow,” in 2000.  But this will be his first time acting in the original play.
Drama Professor Turns Inspiring Trip to Spanish Palace into New Play
Last May, drama professor Fred Curchack embarked on a dream vacation through Spain with his wife and two friends. When they visited a beautiful palace, inspiration struck the internationally acclaimed actor and playwright. 

The building — The Alhambra — is a massive Moorish fortress sitting atop a hill in the south of Spain that gave Curchack the setting for his new play, which will make its premiere Thursday at University Theatre.
“I had never considered writing a play about Spain, but when we finally visited this sublime palace, I was hit with a lightning bolt,” Curchack said. 


National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim Fellowship (1991-92)
code[2] - [2018–2018]