Wesley Young, Associate Professor, teacher, director, and actor, is proud to call Radford University his artistic home. As part of the outstanding theatre and dance faculty he teaches directing, acting, voice, heads up performance faculty and mentors aspiring theatre artists. Among the shows he has directed at RU: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Spinning Into Butter, God of Carnage, The Speed of Darkness, Baby, Medea, Pippin, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (featuring Sally Struthers and colleague Chuck Hayes), Fifth of July (also with Ms. Struthers), The Lion in Winter (with Bridget Hanley), and the still talked about The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas starring Broadway veteran Susann Fletcher-Smith. Young has appeared on the RU stage a few times himself playing Andrew Undershaft in Major Barbara, Poppy and others in The Voice of the Prairie, and his all-time favorite role, that of Irish wit and dramatist Oscar Wilde in Diversions and Delights which he also directed. He continues to play Wilde when possible which he most recently did for Kentucky’s Lindsey Wilson College. He has been seen many times over the years in RU Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker as Herr Drosselmeyer. Locally, Wesley has acted at Mill Mountain theatre in Big River and Into the Woods. Over the years, he has collaborated extensively with his colleagues in RU’s departments of music, dance, nursing, criminal justice—coaching students, staging simulations, directing RU’s musical theatre productions, working with student choreographers, conductors and musical directors. As a particular point of pride, Wesley won a SunTrust Mentor Award for his work with student director Melissa Rayford, herself a recipient of a SunTrust Scholarship for her direction of The Rabbit Hole.
Wesley has directed twice for RU’s New Student Programs’ Quest summer orientation. Professional directing credits include: Sylvia, Rounding Third, and Barefoot in the Park for Kentucky Repertory Theatre, Driving Miss Daisy at Mill Mountain Theatre, The Nerd, St. Croix Festival Theatre and The Diary of Anne Frank, Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre, among others.
Wesley has served as voice, text and/or dialect coach on several productions here at RU and elsewhere including a national tour of Rent. He was a guest respondent for the UCLA Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory headed by renowned musical theatre and television performer Karen Morrow. He has been both a guest and invited panelist at The Barter Theatre’s Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights. For four years, he was Virginia’s State Auditions Coordinator for Southeastern Theatre Conference.
He is a founding member of Public Theatre of Kentucky in his hometown of Bowling Green. As an actor, he has appeared on stages from the Northeast to California. He is particularly proud of having played Prior Walter in the Alabama premiere of Angels in America.
Wesley is the Immediate Past-President of Virginia Theatre Association, a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Actors’ Equity Association, Southeastern Theatre Conference and Theatre Communications Group. Here at RU he chairs the Faculty Grievance Committee. For the Department of Theatre and Cinema he is liaison to McConnell Library and publicity representative. He is the adviser to RU Improv Club.
He is grateful to his mother for encouraging his creativity from early on and to many great teacher/mentors—Mrs. Virginia Massey, Edmond Williams, Jocosa Wade, Lisa Paulsen, Patricia Minton Taylor, Jonathan Michaelsen and Bill Leonard, among others.
He is eternally indebted to Bill Teague for putting him together with Radford and to his colleagues in the School of Dance and Theatre for their continued support of him as colleague, artist and friend.