Alum spotlight: Kevin Inouye (MFA ’12)

collage of photos

Kevin Inouye, MFA in Pedagogy with Movement Track, 2012

Kevin has two Richmonds in his past. He attended Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana for undergrad and you can guess where the second one was.  Before VCU, he found a class in Stage Combat through the Folger Shakespeare Library in DC.  “Stage combat was the first time I had felt like I had something to contribute.”

Kevin (left) playing the Orc Shaman ‘Kurn’ in JourneyQuest Season 1. His last gig in Seattle before moving to Richmond to attend VCU.
Kevin Inouye and Bradley Willcuts in a movement design session for Arena Stage’s Mother Courage that featured David Leong and a team of VCU MFA alumni.

Kevin published his first book The Theatrical Firearms Handbook and got his SAG card while still in Richmond. He also got work doing stunts in Spielberg’s Lincoln, AMC’s Turn and worked as a student actor in some of the Cinema Department’s projects.

VCU cinema shoot On Our Own
VCU cinema shoot On Our Own

After they graduated, Kevin and his wife Chandra (who he met at Earlham) moved to Seattle. Kevin recalls, “Seattle film and theatre work was great to get experience, but not a great way to make a living. We had kids and I had panic moment, ‘I need to have my career locked down.’” Kevin started doing more film work. “In theatre you’re gone several evenings for a month, whereas with film it’s two days and you’re done…plus the pay is better.”

Co-teaching Advanced Movement for BFA students at VCU in 2012.
Kevin teaching longsword at the University of Wyoming

He moved to the University of Wyoming in 2014, where he taught combat, movement and acting. “I needed a tenure track position because there’s no professional work in Wyoming. Since there wasn’t much stunt work, I started writing. I thought, ‘What can I do?’ So I wrote a book. The ability to see the big picture and plan for workflow deserves to be in a book.”  Kevin’s second book is titled The Screen Combat Handbook.

Kevin Inouye mid-scuffle as Joe in the premiere of Mad Gravity, by William Missouri Downs (University of Wyoming, 2015)

In 2018, he took his current position at Case Western in Cleveland, where their MFA program is connected with The Cleveland Playhouse. This gave Kevin, “a quick and easy in to industry in Cleveland.”  Kevin has also been impressed by the size and diversity of the theatre scene in Cleveland. Before COVID he managed to help stage fights for Clue, Pipeline, and a few others. He’s currently helping supply weapons and staging for Karamu House.  Meanwhile, Kevin relishes “a good network of grads. We continue to be resources for each other. “

Kevin’s full list of accrediations:
Assistant Professor of Movement, Acting, & Stage Combat, Case Western Reserve University MFA & BA programs
SDC Affiliate Member

Certified Teacher/Theatrical Firearms Instructor, Society of American Fight Directors
Certified Teacher, National Michael Chekhov Association
Assistant Faculty, Theatrical Intimacy Education

Compiled by Liz Hopper, professor emeritus, and Jerry Williams (BFA ’71) for the June 2021 Theatre Alumni Newsletter.