5 questions with…MFA Acting Program director Ron Wilson

Ron Wilson doesn’t just lead the master of fine arts acting program—he sets out to master all different styles of fine arts. Throughout his career, he’s been an actor, director, playwright, musician, fight choreographer and even the artistic director of The Actors’ Mime Theater.

Ron WilsonWilson first entered the world of academia through stints at Ohio and Cornell universities before joining the Case Western Reserve University faculty in 1999. In 2000, he became chair of the Department of Theater and director of the Case Western Reserve University-Cleveland Play House MFA Acting Program—positions he’s held ever since.

When he’s not inside the theater, you can find him mastering another form of art: drawing. Wilson is a frequent visitor to the neighboring Cleveland Museum of Art, where he tries his hand at replicating the statues in various galleries through pencil and paper (see one of his sketches below).

Learn more about him.

1. What superpower would you most like to have?
I’d choose the ability to be able to be across the country or overseas in a flash—thus avoiding air travel and TSA.

2. What’s your favorite place to dine in Cleveland?
Night Town Restaurant [in Cleveland Heights]. The place is a great, old school watering hole, and the music is terrific.

Pictured here is one of Wilson’s drawings: a 14×17 graphite drawing made from an Italian sculpture of an “Unknown Lawyer” at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

3. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a boy I dreamed of following in my father’s footsteps to become a professional athlete; when I was born my father was playing baseball for a New York Giant AAA Farm Team. As I grew older I began to focus on becoming a visual artist, and then a musician.  In my sophomore year in college I found the Theater, which encompassed all of the things in life I loved.

4. What accomplishments are you most proud of—personally and professionally?
Personally and professionally, I am very honored by being able to make a life in the arts. I have been a musician in rock and folk bands, a professional figurative and portrait artist, a professional actor and director and playwright, and also a teacher.

5. What’s your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve University?
The students. Over the years I have found the undergraduates who are engaged in the Theater Program to be not only talented but also highly intelligent and disciplined.  It makes teaching and directing productions a delight.