The Theatre School > About > Faculty & Staff > Performance > Damon Kiely

Damon Kiely

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  • Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary Initiatives and Academic Innovation and Professor of Directing and Acting
  • ​​​MFA Columbia University, BA University of Chicago
  • Performance; Administration
  • 773-325-1842

Damon Kiely is a professional director and writer, as well as a full-time professor of directing and acting for DePaul's Theatre School. His books How to Read a Play: Script Analysis for Directors, How to Rehearse a Play: a Practical Guide for Directors, and Play Directing: The Basics were published by Routledge.

Directing projects include: My Father's War for TheatreSquared in Fayettville, Arkansas, Miracle, a world premiere musical about the 2016 Cubs at the Royal George, and an in person and radio version of It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play for the Gamm Theatre in Providence, RI.  He was nominated for a Jeff Award for Best director of a musical for his production of Hank Williams: Lost Highway for American Blues Theatre, which won the Jeff for best production of a musical, midsize theatre.  In Chicago, he has directed regional premieres of Barbecue by Robert O'Hara for the Steppenwolf First Look Series with Strawdog Theatre, work by Lisa Kron, Kirsten Greenidge, and Jordan Harrison for Next Theatre, The Chicago premiere of Gore Vidal's Weekend and Anna Ziegler's Boy for TimeLine Theatre Company, the regional premiere of Gina Gionfriddo's Becky Shaw for A Red Orchid Theatre, and the world premiere of McMeekin Finds Out for Route 66. He's also worked at Eclipse Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, WildClaw and others. His world premiere adaptations of Thieves Like Us and The Revel were produced by the House Theatre of Chicago.

He served as the Artistic Director of American Theater Company from 2002 to 2007. Directing credits at ATC include Oklahoma! (Nominated for 6 Jeff Awards including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical), The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, Orpheus Descending, A View from the Bridge, and The Hairy Ape

At The Theatre School he has directed many plays for the Showcase and Playworks series including Our Town, the first show in the Theatre School's new building, A Streetcar Named Desire, Medea, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, and his own adaptations of Prospero's Storm (adapted from The Tempest) and Nancy Drew and the Sign of the Twisted Candle.

Prior to moving back to Chicago, he produced, directed, and taught in New York City. In New York he directed for the Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, the Ontological Theater, Adobe Theater Company, PS122, Ensemble Studio Theater and New Dramatists. Damon also served as the Artistic Director for Real Time Theater and was a Producing Director at the Ontological-Hysteric Theater as well as the Associate Artistic Director for the Children's Theater of Maine. He is a winner of the 2000-02 NEA/TCG Career Directing Program, the 2000 Drama League Fall Directing Program and the 1997 Princess Grace Award.