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Wesley Young

Wesley Young Gallery

Wesley Young, Associate Professor, teacher, director, 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 the performance program and mentors aspiring theatre artists. Among the shows he has directed at RU: 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. His most recent role(s) was Poppy, et al, in The Voice of the Prairie, continuing a theme of playing Irish dipsomaniacs begun when he performed his all-time favorite part Irish wit and dramatist Oscar Wilde in Diversions and Delights which he also produced and directed. Other roles at RU: Mr. Saunders (Lend Me a Tenor), Morris Lacey (The Dark at the Top of the Stairs) and Antigonus (The Winter’s Tale.) He has been seen in several productions of RU Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker as Herr Drosselmeyer. Locally, Wesley has acted at Mill Mountain Theatre in Big River and Into the Woods and continues, when possible, to portray Oscar Wilde. Over the years, he has worked extensively with RU’s music and dance programs as well as the School of Nursing and Department of Criminal Justice-- coaching students, staging simulations, directing RU’s musical theatre productions, working with student choreographers, conductors and musical directors and even collaborating on original music. 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 directed the play Scenes from a Freshman Year for RU’s new student orientation program Quest 2012. 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 dialect coach on several productions here at RU and elsewhere including a national tour of Rent. He was a guest respondent for the Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory at UCLA taught by renowned musical theatre and television performer Karen Morrow and has been a guest 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, Kentucky. As an actor he has appeared on stages from the Northeast to California – The MacHaydn Theatre, Horse Cave Theatre (Kentucky Repertory Theatre), Tennessee Stage Company, Smoky Mountain Shakespeare, and Nebraska Theatre Caravan, to name a few. He is particularly proud of having played Prior Walter in the Alabama premiere of Angels in America.

Wesley is the current President of Virginia Theatre Association, a member of Actors’ Equity Association, Southeastern Theatre Conference, and Theatre Communications Group. Here at RU he sits on the Faculty Grievance Committee. For the Department of Theatre he is liaison to McConnell Library and publicity representative. With colleague Jennifer Juul he is co-advisor to the RU Improv Club. Young holds a MFA in Acting from The University of Alabama and a BA in Theatre from Western Kentucky University.

Wesley is very grateful to his mother, Brenda Lee, for indulging his creativity from an early age and, to many great teachers/mentors – Mrs. Virginia Massey, Edmond Williams, Jocosa Wade, Lisa Paulsen, Patricia Minton Taylor, Jonathan Michaelsen and Bill Leonard among others. He is eternally grateful to Bill Teague for putting him together with Radford and his colleagues in the School of Dance and Theatre for their continued support of him as a friend, colleague and artist.

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