Ryan Decker

Loras College names new director of theatre

Ryan Decker is also an assistant professor

DUBUQUE, Iowa – Loras College, a private, a four-year Catholic liberal arts higher education institution, announces the hiring of Ryan Decker as assistant professor and director of theatre. He becomes only the seventh director of the Loras Players in its 108-year history. Decker replaces Doug Donald, who retired after 18 years in May.

Decker, a native of Dubuque, will teach in the Loras’ Communication and Fine Arts Department, direct productions through the College’s Loras Players theatre organization, direct a biennial faculty/staff play, serve as the advisor to DuProv, an improv troupe, as well as the Guild of St. Genesius Theatre Honor Society.

“My strategy is to meet students where they are technically, physically, vocally, and emotionally, and to build my courses to meet their unique needs,” he said. “Through this practice, I believe I am fostering transformational and lifelong learning.”

Locally, Decker served as a director for the Grand Opera House and Dubuque Fine Arts Players. For more than six years, Decker was managing editor for Julien’s Journal Magazine.

In 2008, he co-founded and served for seven years as artistic director for Trainwreck Productions, in Dubuque, a “found-space” theatre company that presents contemporary ensemble and original productions. He is now managing director.

Decker has directed and acted in a variety of plays and musicals, from classical to original productions throughout the Midwest and South.

Highlights of his directing work include “The Royale” (University of New Orleans; KCACTF Excellence in Directing, Invited Production; Big Easy-nominated), “The Drowsy Chaperone” (Dubuque Grand Opera House) and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Bard-in-the-Yard/University of Northern Iowa).

Early in his career, he served as marketing and public relations director for the NOLA Project, an ensemble-driven theater company, in New Orleans, and assistant director for Southern Rep Theatre, the city’s only year-round professional theater.

Decker earned his bachelor’s degree in theatre performance/acting and a minor in music from the University of Northern Iowa. He later received his master of fine arts degree in film and theatre performance/directing from the University of New Orleans.

Loras leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan institutions to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. Loras ranks among 450 NCAA Division III athletic programs in Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, 11th out of the Top 100 baccalaureate colleges, according to the 2016 Washington Monthly College Rankings, 13th Best Regional College, according to Midwest U.S. News Best Colleges and is among the 200 Best-Loved Colleges in the nation, according to Forbes Magazine.

Visit www.loras.edu, call (563) 588-7100 or (800) 245-6727, like Loras College on Facebook or follow @lorascollege to learn more.

Director of Communications & Marketing
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