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Steven Adler

Emeritus Faculty


Professor Emeritus Steven Adler retired from UC San Diego in 2016, after 29 years on the faculty, the last twelve of which were spent as provost of Earl Warren College. In his professional career, he stage-managed the Broadway productions of Alan Jay Lerner and Charles Strouse’s Dance a Little Closer, the 20th anniversary revival of Camelot with Richard Harris, and the Tony Award-winning Big River. He stage-managed several national tours, including the National Lampoon’s If We’re Late, Start Without Us!, and productions at leading Off-Broadway theatres, including Manhattan Theater Club, an eight-play rotating repertory season at CSC, and the original cast of Forbidden Broadway. He stage-managed many shows in the early days of cable television for HBO, A&E, and Lifetime.  At La Jolla Playhouse, he served as production stage manager for the musicals 80 Days (world premiere, with score by Ray Davies of the Kinks) and Elmer Gantry, as well as MacbethDogeaters (world premiere), Sweet Bird of YouthWintertime (world premiere), the original cast of the Tectonic Theater Project's groundbreaking production of The Laramie Project, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival/Berkeley Rep co-production of David Edgar's two-play political cycle, Continental Divide. He was awarded a Japan Fellowship by the Asian Cultural Council and a UC Pacific Rim Fellowship to research producing in Japanese theatre companies. For two summers he helped run UCSD’s international actor training program in the Suzuki Method at Tadashi Suzuki’s theatre complex in Toga, Japan.  At UCSD, he directed productions of The Good Woman of SetzuanSleeping NightieBalm in GileadA Flea in Her Ear, The SeagullChicagoThe Servant of Two Masters, and 5th of July. He is the author of two books, Rough Magic: Making Theatre at the Royal Shakespeare Company and On Broadway: Art and Commerce on the Great White Way, both published by Southern Illinois University Press, and two anthology chapters: “Box Office,” for the Oxford Handbook of the American Musical, published by Oxford University Press, and “Big River: A New Road to Broadway,” in the Routledge Companion to the Contemporary American Musical.   He is the president (2021-22) of the UCSD Emeriti Association and a mentor for the Chancellor’s Scholars Program, overseen by the Emeriti Association. He still teaches classes in musical theatre, producing, and film.


BA in Theatre, University of Buffalo
MFA, Pennsylvania State University


Research areas

Stage Management, Musical Theatre, Producing, Film