Daniel Larner

Title: Theater Educator
Western Washington University
Location: Bellingham, Washington, United States

Daniel Larner, Playwright and Theater Educator at Western Washington University, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in the field of theater education.

Discovering his love for theater in his twenties, Dr. Larner initially pursued an education in history and science at Harvard University, earning a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, in 1960, and a Master of Science in the history of science in 1962 from the University of Wisconsin. After switching majors to theater, he obtained a Doctor of Philosophy in speech (theatre) in 1968 from the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Larner began his teaching career as a tutor at St. John’s College from 1962 to 1965 before becoming a faculty member in English, then theater at Western Washington University in 1968, where he worked his way up the ranks to full professor in 1981. Between the years of 1968 and 2014, Dr. Larner served the university as the director of graduate study in theater, a founder of the College of Fine and Performing Arts in 1976, the acting chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance in the 1980 to 1981 school year, the dean of the Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies from 1982 to 1989, and the president of the faculty senate from 2009 to 2010.

Creatively, Dr. Larner has published plays including “The Death of Christopher Marlowe” and “Ibsen’s Crib,” These and others, including “War Dance,” “Making Do with Destiny,” “You Take the High Road,” and “Now is Tomorrow.” have been performed in the US and elsewhere. He has been a visiting co-editor of Religion and Theatre and The Journal of Educational Controversy, and a contributor of over 50 articles to professional journals across three different areas of expertise: dramatic form, especially comedy and tragedy, and the nature of dramatic metaphor; the relationship between drama and justice (largely in law journals); and the relationship between democracy and liberal education, including civil liberties issues in education.

Dr. Larner serves as a consultant to colleges and universities on liberal education, general education, interdisciplinary studies, and general studies.

An active member of the Eugene O’Neill Society, Association for Theater in Higher Education and the Dramatists Guild, Dr. Larner has received the Liberty Bell Award from the Whatcom County Bar Association, the Mayor’s Arts Award from the city of Bellingham, the Faculty Outstanding Leadership Award from Western Washington University, and numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and other agencies. Looking forward, he is at work on a book on the late American playwright, Barrie Stavis, a book on the interrelation of tragedy and comedy, and on a commission for a play on civil liberties from the Floyd and Delores Jones Foundation. As a testament to his success, Dr. Larner has been featured in the 26th edition of Who’s Who in the West, the seventh and eighth editions of Who’s Who in American Education, and multiple editions of Who’s Who in America.

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