Theatre and Drama students benefit from generosity of Dennis Dorn

Theatre and Drama students benefiting from Dorn generosity

Each year one undergraduate or graduate student in the Department of Theatre and Drama can receive the Friends of Dennis Dorn Fund award. This support may be used to travel to a national conference, where students are able to network with other professionals; for a research project; or a tuition scholarship.

Dennis Dorn was playing in a pit orchestra his first year of college when he looked up at the stage and the rigging, and caught the bug. When he transferred to the University of Wisconsin–Madison the next year, he majored in speech, now theatre and drama.

Dennis Dorn with student
Dennis Dorn (right) poses for a photo with a student​.
After graduate school, Dorn worked at other universities before returning to UW–Madison, to teach theatre technology and production. Over the course of his 33-year career he taught stagecraft, technical writing, structural design, technical direction, drafting and practicum courses that help round out students’ theatre experiences.

“It was terrific to work with students, both undergraduates and graduates,” he says. He enjoyed it so much that he finished his career at UW–Madison, retiring in 2009. One of his undergraduate students, Dan Lisowski, will be the next chair of the Department of Theatre and Drama. “The program is in good hands,” says Dorn.

Because it’s important for students to network and connect with professionals in their field, with the donations of many past students, Dorn and wife, Kathy, started the Friends of Dennis Dorn Fund. Last fall, they agreed to match any gifts given to the fund between August and December. “This helps students get out and meet people, especially at the United States Institute for Theatre Technology,” he says. “I still go to the annual meetings, just to stay connected. We want current students to be able to build those relationships as well.”

© 2018 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System • Please contact the School of Education External Relations Office with questions, issues or comments about this site.