Dr. Lofty Durham is a teacher, scholar, and professional director who teaches performance history, script analysis, and script analysis for production. He is the 2014 recipient of the College of Fine Arts Excellence in Teaching Award. As a member of the graduate faculty of the WMU Medieval Institute, he also teaches occasional seminars in medieval performance, which is his main area of scholarly expertise. His work seeks to reframe the cultural importance of performance in late medieval France. He is currently serving on the advisory board of the journal of the Medieval & Renaissance Drama Society, ROMARD. He has been published in Journal of Dramatic Theory & Criticism, ROMARD, Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching, Oxford Bibliographies Online, Comparative Drama, and the collection Performance & Theatricality in the Middle Ages (Brepols, 2018).
As an enthusiastic advocate of broad-based liberal arts education and its importance on a public university campus, he was instrumental in founding WMU’s University Center for the Humanities
, and he is always encouraging students to learn languages, attend talks, read history, and otherwise maximize their time here to learn about the world. He has also lent his expertise to various offices across campus, including the Office of Research and Innovation, the Medieval Institute, and the Office of Faculty Development.
Lofty earned his Ph.D., M.A., and a certificate in West European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. While in Pittsburgh, he co-founded a small theatre company called Pandora’s Box Theatre, which during its short yet fierce existence produced a two-week repertory of new adaptations of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus and Molière’s Amphitryon, and a critically acclaimed translation and adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s “chicken play” Chanticleer. Previously, he directed at venues in the Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. regions, including Open Stage Theatre, City Theatre, Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks. Washington Shakespeare Company, Source Theatre Company, the Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia, The Theatre Conspiracy and St. Mary’s College of Maryland. He also assistant directed at the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Elizabethan Theatre for four years. At Western, he has directed or co-directed shows as diverse as Charlotte’s Web, Seven, the Mystery of Saint Veronica, The Conviction of Lady Lorraine, Esmoreit & Lippijn, Waiting to be Invited, and August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean.
In addition to his academic and theatre experience, Durham has worked in nonprofit organizations as a volunteer manager, writer and editor, grant maker, fundraiser and marketer."