College of Visual and Performing Arts

John O'ConnellCollege of Visual and Performing Arts Dean and Professor of Theatre

Office: Visual Arts Building, Room 1-2A
Phone: 260-481-6977
Web Page:

John is the Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. He has an M.F.A. in directing from the University of Alabama which he received in 1998 after spending 12 years directing, producing, and production stage managing in New York City. Most recently, John served as associate professor of theatre at Arkansas State University where he supervised the B.F.A. emphasis in directing. John maintains an active professional directing career freelancing at professional theatres around the country; Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, Tenn., American Stage in Florida and the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival to name a few.  Some of his recent professional productions include Barefoot in the Park for American Stage Company (ASC) in St. Petersburg, Florida. This production garnered John a nomination for a Jeff Norton Award for Best Direction, and this production also broke their 30 year attendance record making it the highest attended play in ASC history.  In 2010, John returned to Playhouse on the Square for a production of Red, White and Tuna in Memphis, Tenn.  This production garnered the highest box office sales in POTS history.  Recent IPFW directing projects by John include Waiting for Godot, Wonderful Town, Noises Off!, The Taming of the Shrew, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee , King Lear and All My Sons

John has taught Beginning Directing, Advanced Directing, Stage Management and Theatre Management for IPFW and continues teaching Entreprenuership in the Arts to students in all four departments of the college.