Arthur Adair: Associate Professor

black and white headshot of Arthur Adair


Office: H-126
Phone: 718-281-5637 (email is the quickest way to reach me)

I was born in Astoria, NY & the first in my family to attend college. Theatre has always been a defining part of my life. For me, theatre is the exploration of the human experience & an attempt to tell a story of who we are, what we do, & where we do it. What I enjoy most about theatre is that it employs every aspect of the visual & performing arts & happens live, "in the moment," lasting only for the moment. It is ephemeral.

I was fortunate to have robust theatre programs at both my elementary & high schools. I was cast as Romeo in 2nd grade & wrote my first 5-Minute play for a 3rd grade variety show. In high school & college, I enjoyed working both as a "techie" & actor. Throughout my career, I have worm many "hats" on many productions. I enjoy every aspect of creating theatre, backstage, onstage, front-of-house, it matters not, as long as I am "in the room" & a part of the company. I have been equally fortunate to have had a handful of mentors throughout my career without whom I never would have realized my goals. No one ventures into the jungle & finds their way on their own.

My first visit to Queensborough was in 2003, as a guest artist playing the role of Iago in a student-production of Othello. Working alongside the students of QCC had a profound effect on me. It was this experience that inspired my decision to set off on the road to become a professor. QCC students are unique. Living in Queens, the most diverse county in the U.S., offers a unique perspective of the human experience. The more interesting your life, the more interesting your art. QCC students are interesting. By 2007, I had earned my M.F.A. in Theatre Directing from CUNY Brooklyn College & was back in the QCC Shadowbox Theater as an adjunct faculty member.

My advice to students considering QCC is stop considering. Complete the application, register for classes, get to class, get to work, enjoy the ride, & complete your degree. I have never met a student who regretted receiving their associate's degree from QCC, in fact, it is quite the opposite. I meet people all the time who regret not going to community college before their 4-year program. It's the smart choice. Have doubts? Email me. Let's chat.

My advice to students attending QCC is go to class & do the work. Get organized, set your goals, make a plan, be positive, & get it done. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Leave time for reflection & editing. Question everything.

Fun Facts:

I have performed on four of the seven continents.
One play that resonates with me is The Zoo Story by Edward Albee.
One film that resonates with me is 13th directed by Ava Duvernay.
One book that resonates with me is Siddhartha by Herman Hesse.
My favorite destination is camping, under the trees, on a river or creek.

Career Highlights

As Educator, Inaugural Faculty Fellow for Student Success (QCC-CUNY; 2021-23).

As Playwright, Director, & Designer: Original, musically-charged works of total theatre: Your War’try Grave; Manifest the Whale, the Teacup Destiny; S-s-s-t-o-n-e-d-d-D: An American Oration; Sound of the Sun & "classically-contemporized" staged adaptations: Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones; Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters (translation); Sophocles’ Oedipus; Euripides' Bacchae; & Georg Buchner’s Woyzeck.

As Director: Medea of the Laundromat by H.M. Koutoukas (Reading); Balls by Paul Foster; & Chasing the New White Whale by Mike Gorman.

As Director at QCC: Church by Young Jean Lee; Waiting for Lefty by Clifford Odets; A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen (adaptation); Far Away by Caryl Churchill; Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry (adaptation); In the Blood by Suzan-Lori Parks; Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman; 12 Angry Jurors by Reginald Rose adapted by Sherman L. Sergel; A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare (adaptation).

As Actor: Member of the Great Jones Repertory Company & The Modern Theatre of Myth. Notable roles: Soldier, The Trojan Women; Aegisthus, Fragments of a Greek Trilogy; Choros, Medea; Dionysus, Bacchae; Iago, Othello; Jesus, Il Grande Inquisitore; Odysseus, Odyssey; Polynieces, Oedipus; Zeus, Seven; Adam, The Angel Project. Notable Directors: Georgia McGill, Andrei Serban, Ellen Stewart, Elizabeth Swados, Deborah Warner.

Notable Venues: La MaMa, NYC; Pyramids of Tajin, Mexico; National Theatre, Serbia; Toyama Performing Arts Center, Japan; Campo de Fiori, Italy; Carnuntum Amphitheatre, Austria; Lincoln Center, NYC; Petras Open Air Theatre, Greece; The Sanctuary of Aphrodite, Cyprus.

Professional Membership & Leadership: Stage Directors/Choreographers Society (SDC); Actors’ Equity Association (AEA); Dramatist Guild of America (DG). Award-winning designer, Set (Innovative Theatre Award/NYC); Light (B. Iden Payne/ATX). KCACTF Leadership: Past Coordinator, Student Directing Initiative, Region II (2014-2019), Region IV (2009-2012). La MaMa: Artist-in-Residence (1997-07).

Education & Training:
- M.F.A., Theatre Directing, CUNY/Brooklyn.
- B.A., Communication & Creative Arts, SUNY/Old Westbury.
- SUNY/Nassau Community College.
- Mineola High School.
- Alva T. Stanforth Middle School.
- Floral Park-Bellerose Elementary School.

Classical & Post-Modern actor/director/designer training incorporating Stanislavski, Chekhov, & Viewpoints. 

Favorite Quotes:

“If I only had an hour to chop down a tree, I would spend the first 45 minutes sharpening my axe.” - Abraham Lincoln

“The technique of any art is sometimes apt to dampen, as it were, the spark of inspiration in a mediocre artist; but the same technique in the hands of a master can fan that spark into an unquenchable flame.” - Josef Jasser

“It takes a long while for a director to cease thinking in terms of the result he desires and instead concentrate on discovering the source of energy in the actor from which true impulses arise.” - Peter Brook

“I think it’s great to be flawed. I am hugely flawed, and I like it this way. That’s the fun of life. You fall, get up, make mistakes, learn from them, be human and be you.” - Priyanka Chopra

Campus Cultural Centers

Kupferberg Holocaust Center exterior lit up at nightOpens in a new window
Kupferberg Holocaust Center Opens in a new window

The KHC uses the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

Russian Ballet performing at the Queensborough Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window
QPAC: Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

Queensborough Art Gallery exterior in the afternoonOpens in a new window
QCC Art Gallery

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.