VCUarts Theatre

David S. Leong

David held the position as Chair, Professor and Producer of the VCU Department of Theatre from 1996-2015. He serves on the National Association of Schools of Theatre accreditation commission and is a Board of Trustees member of the National Theatre Conference. He was recently inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre whose purpose is to honor distinguished service and notable accomplishment by individuals of recognized national stature.

Prior to his appointment at VCU, David served on the faculty of the Drama Division at the Juilliard School, and was the resident movement coach and fight director for Lincoln Center Theatres and The Public Theatre/New York Shakespeare Festival. David’s university teaching also includes faculty positions at Brandeis University, Northern Kentucky University, University of Maryland, and the University of Montevallo. He has also conducted master classes for over two hundred colleges and organizations in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. Over fifty of his former students hold faculty appointments on university and college theatre-training programs throughout the United States. David holds an MFA degree from UNCG and a BA from the University of New Hampshire.


David S. Leong with  Kathleen Turner and former Theatre VCU grad students: Drew Richardson, David S. Leong, Brad Willcuts, Kevin Inouye, Darrell Rushton, Jonathan Kipp Becker, Penny Ayn Maas, Ali Angelone, Valerie Accetta, Marie Boyette, Maggie Marlin-Hess and Cara Rawlings.

Upcoming projects include fight choreographer for the Broadway production of Fool for Love, Oliver! at Arena Stage, and Kiss Me Kate at The Shakespeare Theatre.

As a movement coach and fight director, his work has been seen in the Broadway productions of Amazing Grace, A Time to Kill, Billy ElliotMa Rainey’s Black BottomCarousel,The RainmakerFrank Wildhorn’s musical The Civil WarKing HedleyCompany,PicnicHamletMacbethSolitary ConfinementSex and LongingA Delicate BalanceThe Homecoming, and In The Summer House. Feature films include Titus, and Alien Resurrection. London productions include the West End musical Napoleon, and the Olivier award-winning Jitney at the National Theatre of Great Britain. He has coached or choreographed numerous stars of TV, film and theatre including Val Kilmer, Christopher Plummer, Woody Harrelson, Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Marisa Tomei, Kevin Spacey, Mary McDonnell, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Joan Cusack, Frances McDormand, Raul Julia, Christopher Walken, Tom Hulce, Don Cheadle, Charles Dutton, and Harry Hamlin among others.

His work has also been seen on the stages of nearly every major LORT theatre in the United States including the Shakespeare Theatre,  American Repertory Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum, the Guthrie Theatre, Arena Stage and many more.

Along with Drs. Alan Anderson and Alan Dow, David founded the Critical Communication Groupto address organizational and interpersonal communication within the business, legal, and healthcare industries. Their work has been featured in over 200 media outlets including National Public Radio, the Voice of America, The Washington Post, American Medical News, Surgery News, and the National Women’s Health Information Center. In 2008, CCG received the VCU School of Medicine Award for Educational Innovation.

His book: Make it Short and Simple. How To Present Without Fear (co-authored with Theatre VCU’s Aaron Anderson) is set to publish August 2015.