Alan is a professor of directing and acting. He is also the Director of the Division of Performing Arts and was the Chair of the Department of Theatre Arts for almost three decades. He is a fellow in the College of Fellows of the American Theatre and Past President of the National Association of Schools of Theatre. From 1976 to 2015 he was on the faculty of the Bread Loaf School of English, a summer graduate program of Middlebury College, where, from 1986 through 2013, he served as Artistic Director of the Acting Ensemble, an Equity company-in-residence. He was on the faculty at Princeton University for fourteen years and for a decade was Director of its Program in Theatre and Dance. He served as Associate Director of the Trinity Repertory Company in Providence Rhode Island, and has directed major productions for the Cleveland Playhouse, Trinity Repertory Company, North Light Theatre in Chicago, TheatreWorks in California, the McCarter Theatre, the Shakespeare Theatre at the Folger, the Theatre of the Riverside Church in New York, and other companies. He is also a playwright whose works have been performed in New York, California, and elsewhere.
Alan is Chair of the UI Arts Advancement Committee, which develops innovative programs across the arts. For four years he led the committee that developed the Public Digital Arts cluster initiative and now serves as its administrative officer. He heads the Writers Room Program and leads the Music Theatre track in the Theatre Arts Department. He is a recipient of the Regents Award for Faculty Excellence and is a Collegiate Fellow in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In 2014 he delivered the University of Iowa Presidential Lecture.