Robert J. Vrtis

Before joining Luther College’s Faculty in 2013, Robert Vrtis worked in Eugene, Oregon as a director and teacher. There, he also earned his PhD in Theatre Arts at the University of Oregon. His dissertation, Plague and Mirror: Metaphors of Emotional Transfer and Their Effect on the Actor-Audience Relationship in Theatre, analyzed the metaphorical structures of theatre practitioners including William Shakespeare and Antonin Artaud in order to determine how metaphor shapes the emotional relationship between actors and audience.

As a director he has most recently directed Cabaret, boom, Fahrenheit 451, The Highest Tide, and Masha (an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s work). Other directing credits include Eleemosynary, Twelfth Night, Tartuffe, Atomic Farmgirl, Arabian Night,, WASP, and Only Ten Minutes to Buffalo.

At Luther, he will primarily teach courses in acting and directing for the theatre. Currently, he is excited to be structuring the acting sequence to include classes in performing Shakespeare, Meisner Technique, Auditioning, Improvisation and Clown.

Research Interests

  • Contemporary acting theory and pedagogy
  • Shakespeare in performance and adaptation
  • Cognitive studies, theories of affect in relation to theatre arts
  • Post-colonial theory and dramatic literature