Interim Dean of the School of Fine & Performing Arts
Paul Kassel has been appointed as interim dean of the School of Fine & Performing Arts, effective July 8, 2013, for a term of two years. A national search for a new dean will take place during the second year. Kassel has been associate dean of Fine & Performing Arts for the past two years, and is a full professor in the Department of Theatre Arts.
Kassel currently heads the Department of Theatre Arts' Performance area, teaching all levels of acting and play analysis, and directed plays in the Department of Theatre Arts. His scholarly works include Acting: An Introduction to the Art and Craft of Playing, published by Allyn & Bacon in spring 2006; his new book, The Actor’s Path: An Evolutionary Approach to the Art and Craft of Playing, which will be published by Focus Publishing in 2013; as well as several articles and many conference presentations on acting and performance theory. Kassel is also currently the managing editor for The Player's Journal, an e-journal by and for actors and teachers of acting.
As a professional actor, director, and writer in New York City for 11 years, Kassel has worked off and off-off Broadway in regional theaters and in a number of films, several television shows, and industrials. He has written four original plays and several adaptations, and is a member of Actors' Equity Association and the Screen Actors' Guild. Kassel most recently directed Good People for Half Moon Theatre Company, God of Carnage for River Valley Rep in July 2012, and directed Mark Twain and David Ives’ Is He Dead for Half Moon Theatre Company in November 2011. Kassel played several roles in Seven Stories, directed by Roger Hendrick Simon, for the Company in March 2010. Last fall he directed Macbeth for the Department of Theatre Arts at SUNY New Paltz.
Prior to coming to New Paltz, Kassel worked at Stony Brook University, where he taught acting, voice, movement, directing, and directed plays, and was director of undergraduate studies for the department. He was head of acting at Bradley University from 1993 to 1998, directing eight plays and acting in three, both at the school and at professional theaters in the Midwest.
Kassel received his M.F.A. in performance from the Florida State/Asolo Conservatory of Professional Actor Training.