Eric Forsythe, PhD, MFA, BA

Professor Emeritus

Eric is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Theatre Arts, he was the head of the directing program and Artistic Director for Iowa Summer Rep. He trained for a theatre career as a child actor at the Erie (PA) Playhouse, and then at Dartmouth (BA) and Carnegie-Mellon University (MFA, PhD). His acting credits include hundreds of stage productions at major theatres across the country, from the McCarter, LaMama ETC and Philadelphia Drama Guild, to Boston's Charles Playhouse and the St. Louis Rep, working with actors such as Jason Robards, Geena Davis, Oliver Platt, and David Strathairn. His favorite roles include King Lear, Sherlock Holmes, Tartuffe, Prospero, Trigorin, Brian (in Joe Egg) and George (in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?).  

He has directed or produced hundreds of stage productions, with actors as diverse as Sylvia Sidney, Betsy Palmer, Ted Danson and John Sayles. Favorite productions include: An Empty Plate in the Café du Grand BoeufMarat/Sade, The Flea in Her Ear (also translated), The Kentucky Cycle (pre-Broadway), Three Sisters, and Present Laughter.

Eric has performed in many commercials, films ("Return of the Secaucus Seven," and "Hall Pass"), television ("George Washington" series, NBC Movie-of-the-Week, Hallmark Hall of Fame), radio productions (many for NPR), and industrial films, both nationally and internationally.

Eric has been the national or international voice for such companies as SmithKline, DuPont, Rockwell Collins, Black & Decker, ARA, General Mills, Clorox, and BankAmericard. His narration for the documentary, “The Nazi Drawings,” earned him an Iowa Motion Picture Award.

His teaching has been recognized by both the M. L. Huit Faculty Award and the Philip G. Hubbard Award for Outstanding Education. Eric trained with legendary theatre director Jerzy Grotowski's Lab Theatre; the experience formed the basis for his acting/directing philosophy. He has published articles and reviews in a number of leading theatre periodicals, most notably Theatre Journal.

Plays he has written or translated have been performed in a variety of professional and academic theatres, nationally and internationally. He also taught a first-ever course for professional stage directors in Venezuela.

Professor Forsythe retired in December 2016.

Portrait of Eric Forsythe, PhD, MFA, BA
PhD, Carnegie-Mellon University
MFA, Carnegie-Mellon University
BA, Dartmouth College