WELCOME TO THE WEB PAGE OF
Department of Theatre
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614-0371
Office e-mail: Steve.Taft@uni.edu
Office phone: 319-273-2543
This page is designed to provide information for students and colleagues. Please feel free to contact me for suggestions or comments.
Master of Ceremonies - UNI Student's First Capital Campaign Kick-off - 2001
(photo by Randy Dardst)
Steve Taft is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre. With fourteen years of administrative experience, he has previously served the University of Northern Iowa as Head of the Department of Theatre, Acting Head of the Department of Art and as Director of Education and Special Projects for the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. Other leadership positions include Head of the Performing Arts Department (Theatre and Dance) at The University of Louisiana and as Chair of the Department of Theatre at LaGrange College. Steve received a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Central Missouri majoring in Theatre and Speech with a minor in Dance, a Master of Arts in Theatre from Missouri State University and a Ph.D. in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Theatre with concentrations in Arts Management and Directing from Texas Tech University.
His artistic skills and interest have allowed him to work as an actor, director and designer. Although his career has been devoted to leading university academic departments and being a member of the faculty, Steve has had the pleasure of working professionally from time to time. One of his fondest experiences was in the portrayal of Harry Mitchell in the Atlanta premiere of THE SUM OF US for which he was nominated for Best Actor by the Atlanta publication, Creative Loafing. In recent years he has developed a strong relationship with The Old Creamery Theatre Company acting in AMADEUS, TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE, and GREATER TUNA, directing NOBODY DON'T LIKE YOGI, BROADWAY BOUND. ROUNDING THIRD, and THE ODD COUPLE and serving as light and sound designer for a variety of productions.
The Stephen's College Okoboji Summer Theatre invited Steve to work alongside their talented students and artistic professionals portraying Dad in LEAVING IOWA, directing A.R. Gurney's WHAT I DID LAST SUMMER and returning to direct the classic British farce, SEE HOW THEY RUN and portraying Mayor Meekly in UNNECESSARY FARCE. Other artistic ventures include working with the Vox Nova Theatre Company in San Diego and Theatre L'Homme Dieu in Minnesota. His varied career has allowed him to work in radio, independent films, industrials and on various commercials including serving as the principal spokesperson for O'Reilly Automotive for two years. And if you hit the pause button, you may be able to catch a glimpse of him in the films SWEET DREAMS and the OLDEST LIVING CONFEDERATE WIDOW TELLS ALL.
Most recently Steve has focused on the task of playwriting and reigniting his passion for songwriting creating the holiday musical, STORYBOOK CHRISTMAS: A MUSICAL COUNTRY CHRISTMAS CAROL and HOPE THE FIREFLY, a children's play with music based on the children's stories, "Hope the Firefly" and "Dancing with Daisy" by wife and partner, Cindy Taft.
In the early part of his academic career at LaGrange College, Steve served as Artistic Director of Fredrich Durrenmatt's THE VISIT, presented in conjunction with the "Leaders of Humanity" seminars conducted by Mr. Zigmunt Nagorski, President of the Center for International Leadership located in Washington, D.C. Presented as a LaGrange College interdisciplinary project with collaboration between the Department of Theatre and The Department of Business and Economics, Steve teamed with Dr. George Dupuy, Professor of Management, to produce the thought-provoking drama at over forty seminars for such clients as: The Bell South Corporation, Capital Holding Corporation, Dun & Bradstreet, The Southeast Regional Education Board and the Global Leaders of the South. The program received The Southern Business Administration Association 1992 Teaching Innovation Award and the Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education from the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge.
Inspired by his experiences with Mr. Nargorski and the "Leaders of Humanity" seminars, Steve's interdisciplinary interests continued with the development of a new course entitled, "Arts, Ethics, and the Athlete" at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. For many years, he has been compiling research on dancer, choreographer, director and friend, Marc Breaux (1924-2013). The work includes interviews with friends and collaborators such as Dick Van Dyke, Richard Sherman, Lesley Ann Warren, Michael Kidd, Andy Williams, Kaye Ballard, and others. A veteran of Broadway, television and film, Marc Breaux is best known for his choreographic work in such films as THE SOUND OF MUSIC, MARY POPPINS, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG and others.
Steve has served on the Executive Board of the Southwest Theatre Association as Vice-President of Membership, as editor of Southwest Reports, and as Vice-Chair of Strategic Planning. On the state level, he has served as President of Theatres of Louisiana and as Chair of the College / University Division. In Georgia, he served the Georgia Theatre Conference as Vice-President of Membership, Chair of the College/University Division, and newsletter editor. He is a member of the Mid-America Theatre Conference and an active presenter. He has had the pleasure to also serve as an adjudicator for the American College Theatre Festival (ACTF), the Iowa Association of Community Theatre State Festival and Regional AACT/FEST, the Iowa High School Speech Association (IHSSA) and the Iowa Thespian Festival. In addition, Steve continues to be active serving as a consultant and presenting workshops for various theatre organizations in Iowa.
Representative directing credits include: PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE, LOST IN YONKERS, the world premiere of the award-winning play GUERNICA (by Cody Daigle), THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE, THE MIRACLE WORKER, LEND ME A TENOR, PICNIC, ON GOLDEN POND, THE CEMETERY CLUB, THE SHADOW BOX, BLITHE SPIRIT, NUNSENSE, GODSPELL, WEST SIDE STORY, WORKING, DANCING AT LUGHNASA, OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY, PROPOSALS, HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES, MAURITIUS and others.
Steve is married to actress, educator and best friend, Cindy (Urban) Taft. They have four children.
| Taft Photo Gallery
FDR Speaks| Breaux Photo Gallery | Breaux Interview |