Awards & Lectureships

Chuck Davis from the African-American Dance Ensemble

Chuck Davis from the African-American Dance Ensemble

The Richard and Gretchen Iben Memorial Lectureship was created as an endowment gift to the Department of Theatre Arts in March 1984. The Iben Lectureship is recognized nationally as a prestigious endowment for bringing nationally and internationally renowned theatre artists to Bradley University to interact with students. 

According to the Agreement to Establish the Richard and Gretchen Iben Memorial Lectureship, its exclusive purpose is:

“to provide Bradley University a series of master classes, lectures, demonstrations, and performances by highly acclaimed individuals in the field of theatre arts in recognition of mankind’s persisting efforts to imagine, to create, and to transform thought through dramatic interpretation.”

The structure of the lectureship is flexible and has included a variety of formats to suit the specific visiting artist.  The previous visits have included visits to theatre classes, master classes, dinner discussions with small groups of students, formal luncheons with University dignitaries and students, press conferences, viewings of University Theatre productions, and public performances and discussions held in the Hartmann Center for the Performing Arts.

Iben Lecturers in the past have included the Tony Awarding directors Lloyd Richards, Mary Zimmerman, and Ed Stern, Producing Artistic Director from Cincinnati Playhouse; Obie-Award winning director Jael Weisman, founding member of the Dell’Arte Players; nationally acclaimed dance choreographer Chuck Davis from the African-American Dance Ensemble; Anatoly Smeliansky of the Moscow Art Theatre; internationally acclaimed director and theorist Augusto Boal; and the international performing arts groups The San Francisco Mimes and The Dell’Arte Players. The department has also hosted nationally and regionally significant lecturers that offer students specific training and educational opportunities like Dennis Krausnick from Shakespeare and Company, Curt Tofteland from the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Adam Belcoure, Casting Director for Goodman Theatre, and mask-maker Alyssa Ravenwood.

This endowed lectureship is unique among institutions of Bradley’s size, offering an important educational experience in which our students have the opportunity to interact with accomplished, recognized artists.

Previous Iben Lecturers

  • 2010-2011 Jeff Wirth
  • 2009-2010 House Theatre
  • 2008-2009 Skip Reiss & Jim Guy
  • 2007-2008 Brant Pope
  • 2006-2007 The Builders Association
  • 2005-2006 Curt Tofteland
  • 2004-2005 The Dell'Arte Players
  • 2003-2004 Mary Zimmerman & Chuck Davis
  • 2002-2003 Dennis Krausnick
  • 2001-2002 Jane Brody
  • 2000-2001 San Francisco Mime Troupe
  • 1999-2000 Augusto Boal & Dr. Ralph Allen
  • 1998-1999 Dr. Howard Stein
  • 1997-1998 Robert Schenkkan
  • 1997-1998 Marni Nixon
  • 1996-1997 Mikhail Shvydkoi
  • 1995-1996 Lloyd Richards & Anatoly Smeliansky
  • 1994-1995 Walter Koenig
  • 1993-1994 John Frohnmayer
  • 1991-1992 Frank Bonner, Richard Sanders, Hope Alexander-Willis, & Stephen Rothman
  • 1990-1991 Akvsentii A. & Georgii A. Gamsakhurdii
  • 1989-1990 Jamie Farr
  • 1988-1989 Isabel Sanford
  • 1987-1988 Linda Lavin
  • 1986-1987 Geoffrey Holder
  • 1985-1986 Richard Thomas
  • 1984-1985 Dan O'Herlihy