David Leong is inducted as a Fellow in the College of Fellows of the American Theatre

On April 21, 2013 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, VCU Theatre Department’s Chair, David S. Leong was inducted as a Fellow in the College of Fellows of the American

Here is some background information from the website (  “From its beginnings, investiture in the College was one of the highest honors bestowed on educators and professionals of America’s educational and theatre community….The primary purpose of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre is to promote and encourage the highest standards of research, writing, and creativity in educational and professional theatre through honoring distinguished service and notable accomplishment by individuals of recognized national stature. The membership includes actors, critics, designers, directors, playwrights, producers, program administrators, distinguished teachers and scholars associated with the commercial and educational wings of the American theatre.”


Nominated by  Dan Carter, Director of the School of Theatre, Penn State University , here is the induction speech presented in David Leong’s honor:


David Leong embodies the true spirit of the artist/educator and for two decades has been a creative and forward-thinking university administrator whose successful initiatives are too numerous to mention. He is a leader and an inspiration for those who aspire to match his level of accomplishment. Professor Leong is articulate and compassionate, and focused on excellence. He sets the highest standards for his students and fellow collaborators and expects no less of himself. The same is true for David Leong, the artist.

An award-winning teacher, David has held academic appointments at five universities and the Juilliard School and served as guest teacher at literally hundreds of colleges and universities. Most recently, he has been involved as a founding member of The Critical Communications Group, focused on organizational and interpersonal communication within the business, legal, and healthcare industries world-wide. He helped establish the Society of American Fight Directors as the primary voice for advocacy in the art, education, and training of stage combat. He is an active member of the Board of Trustees of the National Theatre Conference and a member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre’s Commission on Accreditation. It is, however, in the area of fight direction where he originally rose to national prominence and where his eminence is at its height.

As an artist, David is unsurpassed as theatrical fight director. His credits include fourteen Broadway, seventy Off-Broadway, and two West End productions as well as shows for virtually every major American theatre company, two feature films, and nine live action theme parks and outdoor dramas. What sets him apart from other talented and successful fight directors, however, is not the volume of his output but his acute awareness of the big picture supported by his sophisticated understanding of the various processes inherent in the work. His physical vocabulary, knowledge of history, sense of style, and–ultimately–his theatricality are unmatched. He has a deep understanding of acting, directing, design, dramaturgy, and Za! and employs each in concert to create the best possible experience for an audience. No one does this better than David.