Jeff Steele is currently Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, teaching classes across the creative arts, communication, and humanities disciplines. A professional theatre artist, Jeff worked for many years in the Chicago market before coming to Principia to teach theatre. A graduate of both Northwestern University and The Shakespeare Institute, Dr. Steele brings a rich and varied experience to the classroom and the stage.
A member of Actor’s Equity Association, he has been an acting teacher for many years—focusing on a Performance Studies approach in the acting studio as well as in the director’s chair. He has also designed and choreographed many fight scenes for the stage and some for the screen. A member of the Society of American Fight Directors, he received his original certification while he was living in the UK from the Society of British Fight Directors. His background and experience in Improvisation led to the creation of the campus ImprovRevue: The Lazy Zipper Show.
Most recently, Jeff has been active as a freelance director and performer during breaks from Principia. While some projects in Nashville and Los Angeles remain in development, those ready to premiere later this year will be especially fulfilling as the culmination of many months of thoughtful creative work and exciting collaboration. In addition to conference papers and a couple of articles-in-process, Jeff is at work on a stage play and a screenplay: the former is a comedy set in Shakespeare’s London and the latter is a treatment of the Corps of Discovery journey from the perspective of Sacagawea. He is also a consultant and associate artist with Triumvirate Films of Los Angeles—bringing Shakespeare and classic texts to new audiences.
His current research interests include the study of textual violence in performance as watershed moments of drama, the influence of fascination and aggressive mental suggestion upon tragic figures, and the translation of literature—especially Shakespearean drama—from the page to video. Additionally, Jeff is also interested in the Revolutionary and Westward Expansion periods in U.S. history and volunteers regularly at the Daniel Boone Home in Defiance, Missouri.