Eric S. Kildow Biography Directing Dramaturgy Teaching/Scholarship Contact
[Hands]- Dramaturg
Lion of the West- Director
Oliver Twist- Dramaturg
On the Verge- Director


Directing Resume
Eric S. Kildow is a Midwestern artist with a Southern flavor who splits his time between freelance directing and his teaching responsibilities at Kent State University's Trumbull Campus.  He takes a deeply collaborative approach, assuming that "we as a collective are smarter than [he] will ever be." 

His Southern Fried Chekhov at the Muse Arts Warehouse in Savannah, GA was lauded for its creativity.  In his work with the Burning Coal Company (Raleigh, NC), he directed two of their site-specific outdoor historical dramas.  Oakwood: Home Again was noted for its keen approach to the lives of the people who are buried in Raleigh's historic Oakwood Cemetery, while Fayetteville Street: The Great Conspiracy to Know Our Fathers was favoured with excellent reception.  His updated production of Tartuffe, playing with the hypocrisy of the moral majority televangelists of the 1980's, was also favourably received at the Big Dawg Theatre in Wilmington, NC.

He is also an Associate to the London (UK) based Loitering with Intent Theatre.  Their collaboratively devised Turn Right/Turn Left: A Manual for the End of the World was invited to the Fleetstreet Theatre in Hamburg, Germany for the Kommando Barbara production company.  Eric is currently working with company members on devising a project examining the fallout of failed prophecies.

Even in his academic directing, Eric maintains high standards and a clear vision.  His productions of A Doll's House and The Doctor in Spite of Himself were both nominated for excellence in faculty directing awards with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

He is an Associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographer's Society and a member of the Lincoln Center Director's Lab (2012).

On the Verge: Or the Geography...

Schoolhouse Rock, Live!

Oakwood: Home Again

The Children's Hour


The Lion of the West


A Doll's House

Glass Menagerie


Company of Wayward Saints

Turn Right/ Turn Left...

Doctor in Spite of Himself

The Mousetrap

The Lion in Winter


25th Annual Putnam County...

Hedda Gabler


The Chairs

Return to Top

headshot Eric Kildow is an internationally known director, dramaturg, and educator.  Currently based in Northeast Ohio, his credits include regional and academic theatres in both the United States and Europe, both traditional and devised productions.

Born on the frozen tundra of Northern Michigan, Eric discovered a passion for theatre while attending Michigan State University.  Since then, his travels have taken him to the high plains of East Texas, the genteel streets of Savannah, GA, the swamps of North Carolina, and finally back north to the Midwest.  It has been, in the words of the Grateful Dead, a long strange trip.  But that's just the way he likes it, and he's looking for new travels and new traveling companions.

Coming to the arts from a working class background, and often feeling like the fish out of water, Eric strives to create an open and welcoming environment in the theatre.  There is no play that folks just won't "get," so challenging the audience, without alienating them, is the key.  His work has been noted for its passion, as well as a certain joyousness and wonder. 

Eric received his Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University, Master of Arts from Texas A&M-Commerce, and his Master of Fine Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design.  He now lives in Warren, OH with his wife and two cats, all of whom he loves very much.

Return to Top


As a production & consultant dramaturg, Eric works to bring the company and the audience into communion with the story the playwright is trying to tell.  This includes research, analysis, and generally functioning as the production's spare brain.  Working in both educational and professional settings, he strives to live up to the famous quip, "Dramaturg?  Isn't the German for smart ass?" with humility, joy, and an exploratory theatrical spirit.

As part of his duties, he has prepared a number of educational study guides.  A partial list of his writings can be found below.

Eric also maintains the blog, the Friendly Neighborhood Dramaturg.  You can read some of his more rambling thoughts, updated sporadically.

Return to Top

Curriculum Vitae  --  Teaching Philosophy
Eric Kildow holds dual BAs from Michigan State University (in Political Theory and Theatre), an MA in Theatre from Texas A&M University- Commerce, and an MFA in Performing Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Eric believes that leavening the liberal arts approach to theatre training in dramatic literature and history with extensive practical study and production activity delivers the most well-rounded theatrical practitioner.  Combining theoretical exploration with the ability to put those same theories on their feet is key, and so the rehearsal hall and production space are best melded as seamlessly as possible with the classroom.  Further, Eric takes a multidisciplinary approach into the classroom, setting history, literature, and stage practice in their wider social and political contexts.  This was the primary focus when Eric founded the Theatre and Society in Prague Study Abroad Program at Armstrong Atlantic University, for which he was featured in Southern Theatre Magazine.  This is a program he has restarted since he began teaching at Kent State University.

Though always eager to direct in the department's season, Eric believes in student artistic leadership at the earliest levels, and gladly mentors student directors and producers in developing their own work, style and ideas.  It is through active and regular application that lessons are truly learned.

As a director and acting teacher, Eric uses improvisation and movement-based technique to supplement traditional Stanislavski-derived techniques.  The goal is a playful and imaginative theatre with actors who are equipped for the dangerous and extraordinary conversation that great theatre always is.  Ideally, they will always be pleasantly surprised by their talent.

Eric is a practitioner of the Alexander Technique, with his research interests centering around the integration of the Technique with actor training, embodied mindfulness, and overall student wellness.  He is currently pursuing certification as an Alexander Technique teacher through Alexander Technique International.

Return to Top