Ronald Dean Nolen
founding company member, artistic director
…is Head of Acting and Directing for the School of Theatre and Dance at Texas Tech University, received his Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from the School of Drama, Yale University where he was honored as a Constance Welch Scholar, and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Music from Hardin-Simmons University. An award-winning actor, Mr. Nolen has originated roles in over a dozen new plays and musicals from Broadway, where he co-starred as Harry Bright in the original Broadway cast of the smash hit Mamma Mia! to off-Broadway where he created the roles of Terence in Theresa Rebeck and Alexandra Gersten-Vasillaros’ critically-acclaimed Pulitzer-Prize finalist Omnium Gatherum, as well as the role of Jeffrey in Rob Ackerman’s Tabletop, for which he received a 2001 Drama Desk Award. Other New York credits include performances at Manhattan Theatre Club, The Working Theatre, VOICETheatre (company member), and Naked Angels Theatre Company as well as some of our nation’s most prominent regional theatres including Yale Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Geva Theatre, The Wilma Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Lyric Stage, Shakespeare Theatre, D.C., Virginia Stage Company, TheaterWorks, New Stage Theatre, among others.
Internationally, Mr. Nolen traveled in 1999 to St. Petersburg, Russia where he joined in a collaboration between graduate students from Yale School of Drama and the St. Petersburg Academy of Theatre Arts, led by David Chambers and Nikolai Pesochinsky, respectively, in a reconstruction of Meyerhold’s 1926 (then highly controversial) production of Gogol’s Revizor (The Inspector General), which was ultimately performed at the International Theatre Festival in Amsterdam, Holland. On television, Mr. Nolen guest-starred as Dan Enright opposite Sam Waterston on “Law & Order;” as Philip Montrose opposite Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni on “Law & Order: SVU;” and as Nigel Hammaker opposite Taylor Schilling and Margo Martindale on “Mercy.” Other television appearances include “Fling” (Pilot) with Amy Sedaris and the late Sidney Pollack, “Crossing Jordan,” “Criminal Intent,” “All My Children” as well as a performance as Harry Bright on the 2001 Tony Awards in the original cast of Mamma Mia!
As a director, Nolen’s work includes the World Premieres of Division Avenue at the June Havoc Theatre in New York City (which earned 9 Midtown International Theatre Festival Awards including Outstanding Direction and Production) and the play's subsequent production for Contemporary Theatre of Dallas in November of 2013, and Shauna Kanter’s Birds on a Wire in both the U.S. as well as the 2012 International Festival Fringe, Edinburgh, Scotland. Other productions include Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s Sweeney Todd, Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (Or What You Will), Wilder’s Our Town, Horton Foote’s The Roads to Home, Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart’s Hello, Dolly!, among others. For Texas Tech’s School of Theatre & Dance, Nolen has directed Cabaret and Eclipsed receiving for both productions the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s Meritorious Achievement Award for Direction.