Lecturer in Theatre // Theatre // Rueff School
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MA, University of Iowa
BA, University of Kentucky
A native of Kentucky, Bill Caise earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky and his master's degree from the University of Iowa.
Caise has performed as an actor and director in numerous stage productions. While attending Iowa, Caise appeared in the world premiere production of Karin Coonrod's Everything That Rises Must Converge, an adaptation of Flannery O'Connor short stories, Robert Alexander's The Last Orbit of Billy Mars as well as the Hansberry award-winning production of Levy "Lee" Simon's The Bow Wow Club. Some of Caise's favorite roles have been as Cutler in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Boy Willie in The Piano Lesson, Nick Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Chasuble in The Importance of Being Earnest.
He has directed shows ranging from Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost, to Luigi Pirandello's The Man With the Flower in His Mouth and August Wilson's Two Trains Running. A few of his favorites productions have been his adaptation of James Weldon Johnson's God's Trombones, in which he took Johnson's poems and set them in a historical context; George C. Wolfe's The Colored Museum, which he staged using African ceremonies and rituals; and The Dictator's Nose, where he worked with celebrated clown and solo performer Bob Berky.
Caise has taught at the University of Kentucky, the University of Iowa and the Governor's School for the Arts. He has held adjunct positions at Purdue in the theatre department and the African American Studies and Research Center. He also was a founding member and artistic director of MESSAGE Theatre, a theatre company that focused on the works of African-American theatre.