David Kaye, professor of theatre, has been selected as the 2016 recipient of the Lindberg Award, given annually to the outstanding teacher-scholar in the College of Liberal Arts.
Professor Kaye earned a B.S. at Castleton State College and an M.F.A. in acting at Brandeis University. He was appointed to the UNH faculty in 1996.
Professor Kaye’s scholarly and creative work focuses on acting, directing, playwriting and applied theatre. He deftly produces, directs and performs a wide range of material, from the ancient Greeks to contemporary works, at UNH and for equity and non-equity companies regionally. As a playwright, Kaye’s most recent endeavor has been a one-man tragi-comedy, which he also performs, titled “How I Brought Peace to the Middle East.” Based on his experiences as a Fulbright Scholar in Israel, the play had two successful runs in Portsmouth and was selected for inclusion in a juried festival of one-person plays on Broadway. Kaye’s innovative work often involves collaboration across cultures, disciplines and even geographic locales, such as his 2013 multi-media production “Estranged,” performed at the University of Southern Maine and UNH simultaneously through video simulcast and other technologies. His applied theatre work stretches the bounds of theatre further, moving into the realms of social justice and workplace training. For example, Kaye founded Powerplay, a professional company that creates interactive theatre performances for personal and institutional development. PowerPlay has worked with New Hampshire Easter Seals, Primax Incorporated and several programs run by the National Science Foundation. In short, Kaye has been a champion for theatre, working hard to demonstrate that the discipline is exciting and relevant not only in the Paul Creative Arts Center but also in many other areas of our culture.
Professor Kaye’s commitment to theatre pedagogy registers loudly with his students. With enthusiasm, patience and sensitivity, he challenges them to take big risks and be courageous. Students accept the challenge and recognize its value. What comes through in their testimony about Professor Kaye’s teaching is that his lessons in the classroom are really lessons about life. One student sums up the sentiment: “He taught me things this semester that will forever change the way I approach performing and even everyday life.” Professor Kaye has been recognized for his outstanding work with students on multiple occasions. In 2009, he won both a UNH Excellence in Teaching Award and the Leonidas A. Nickole Theatre Educator of the Year Award from the New England Theatre Conference. He won the University Social Justice Award in 2010 and the Outstanding Associate Professor Award in 2012.
Professor Kaye has demonstrated that he possesses the highest qualities of scholarship and teaching and is most deserving of the Lindberg Award.
The annual Gary Lindberg Award was established by the College of Liberal Arts in 1986 in memory of Professor Gary Lindberg of the Department of English. Professor Lindberg was an exceptional scholar and outstanding teacher whose dedication and service to the University of New Hampshire as well as the wider community exemplified the highest academic standards and ideals. In memory of Professor Lindberg and as a means of publicly supporting superior faculty accomplishment, the College of Liberal Arts annually recognizes one truly outstanding scholar and teacher within the College. The recipient is invited to present the Lindberg Lecture to the public during the following academic year.