Paul Steger — an actor, a theatre director, a fight choreographer with Broadway credits, and an arts administrator — has been named director of the Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts.
Most recently a professor in the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Steger will assume his new role on July 1.
“Being selected to serve as the director of Virginia Tech’s School of Performing Arts is a great honor and a wonderful challenge,” Steger said. “Opportunities abound at Virginia Tech right now with interdisciplinary collaborations across campus. These opportunities — coupled with accomplished faculty and staff in music, theatre, cinema, and dance — are inspiring. This is a great time to be a part of new innovations that will expand the impact and engagement of the arts nationally and internationally.”
Steger recently completed an 11-year term as the inaugural director of the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film. In that position, he developed and guided the school through multiple strategic plans and academic program reviews, a reaccreditation, a $5.3 million renovation and expansion, and the acquisition of a $20 million donation to help create a center for emerging media arts.
More recent personal projects include creating fights for the History Channel series “Vikings”; coordinating efforts to establish internships at Industrial Light & Magic, a cinematic-visual-effects powerhouse in San Francisco; and presenting at the inaugural World Combat Teachers Conference in Toronto.
Before joining the University of Nebraska, Steger served as an associate professor and in various administrative capacities at the School of Theatre at Florida State University, at the University of Oklahoma’s School of Drama, and at the North Carolina School of the Arts.
Steger has appeared across North America and Europe as a performer, director, speaker, and consultant. As a certified combat instructor, he has coordinated efforts to create common vocabularies for stage combat organizations and fight teachers at the international level.
A member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Schools of Theatre, Steger is also a member of the Actors’ Equity Association, the Screen Actors Guild, and the National Theatre Conference.
Steger earned a master of fine arts in directing from Western Illinois University and a bachelor of arts in theatre (acting and directing) from Saint Louis University.
“I look forward to working with Virginia Tech’s incredible community of artists, scholars, and learners to discover what we can do in the future,” Steger said.
“We are delighted that Paul Steger will be leading the School of Performing Arts in the next phase of its history,” said Rosemary Blieszner, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. “The talent among our faculty and students has long been dazzling, and I know he will be instrumental in nurturing it and bringing their art before even wider audiences.”