October 02, 2020

Robert A. "Bob" Nelson Retires from the U

This fall, Professor and former Chair of the Department of Theatre, Robert A. Nelson, is retiring from the University of Utah after more than fifteen years.

Following a BA in Dramatic Theory (Arizona), Bob first came to the University of Utah to earn his PhD in Theatre. He remained in Utah, teaching theatre at BYU for many years--including a stint as Department Chair from 1998 to 2004--before he returned to the University of Utah. He served as Chair of the Department from 2005 to 2009, staying on afterward as Professor and Head of the Theatre Studies Program. His varied interests and depth of knowledge about the history, theory, and practice of theatre allowed him to teach a wide variety of subjects; however, as he states in his bio, "he particularly enjoys theatre history, dramatic literature, new-play development, acting, directing, and Shakespeare." This last affinity led him not only to teach and act the plays of the Bard, but also to publish his own writing about teaching Shakespeare.

Bob's unflagging passion and enthusiasm, coupled with his innate generosity, have led to widespread involvement in every aspect of theatre. Over the years, Bob has presented at and participated in a wide array of organizations and associations, including ASTR (American Society for Theatre Research), ATA (American Theatre Association), ATHE (Association for Theatre in Higher Education), Comparative Drama Conference, RMTA (Rocky Mountain Theatre Association), UTA (Utah Theatre Association), and KCACTF (Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival).

In addition to the time and resources he has contributed as an educator, Bob has also maintained a notable and diverse career as a theatre actor and director throughout Utah, as well as in film and television. As stated in his bio, "he and the former Char Pomeroy are the proud parents of four, and grandparents of seven."

During our weeklong celebration of Bob Nelson, we will be updating our blog daily with interviews from members of our department and community, each remembering and celebrating Bob as an educator, an administrator, an actor, a director, and friend. Don’t forget to visit our Wall of Thanks to post your own memories, stories, pictures, videos, and wishes for Bob.

“Bob Week” runs from October 2 to October 9, 2020.