Area of Focus: Theatre Studies
William Grange holds the rank of Professor in the Carson School, teaching courses in theatre history, dramatic analysis, and film technology history. He is the author of eleven books currently in print and has published numerous essays, book chapters, journal articles, reviews, and encyclopedia entries – most of which are available for download at the UNL Digital Commons. You may also visit his Amazon web page to view his books and even order copies – which he highly recommends. Dr. Grange has received significant teaching and research appointments abroad, including Guest Professor for American Film and Drama at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, the Distinguished Chair in Humanities and Cultural Studies at the University of Vienna, and a Fulbright Professorship at the University of Cologne in Germany. In both Cologne and Vienna he taught courses in German; at the University of Nebraska he has served as an endowed Hixson-Lied Professor, though his teaching is almost exclusively in English. His colleagues have elected him to three successive terms as their representative in the University of Nebraska’s Faculty Senate, and for the past decade he has served at their request as Chairman of the Carson School’s Graduate Committee.
Among his research awards are fellowships from the German Academic Exchange Service, the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas, the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, D.C., the Dorot Foundation in Providence, Rhode Island, the Mellon Foundation in New York City, the International Institute of Education, the Hixson-Lied Trust Endowment, the Jane Harrison Lyman Research Trust Fund, and several others. For his research efforts he has twice received the University of Nebraska Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research in the Humanities. Nebraska students and the University parents’ organization have awarded him distinctions of teaching merit on three different occasions at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Dr. Grange has been an Equity actor for over four decades and was recently cited by the Actos’ Fund for meritorious service to the acting profession in the United States. He has played leading roles in several productions, including Caldwell B. Cladwell in the award-winning musical “Urinetown,” Prof. Henry Higgins in “My Fair Lady” with Gwynne Geyer, Capt. von Trapp in “The Sound of Music” with Lindsey Alley, El Gallo in “The Fantasticks!” and the carnival owner Schlegel in “Carnival!” He was a member of the original Light Opera of Manhattan company in New York, appearing in numerous Gilbert and Sullivan productions while still a graduate student at Columbia University. He was also a founding member of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, playing Polonius in “Hamlet,” Duncan in “Macbeth,” Cleante in “Tartuffe,” Amiens in “As You Like It,” Leonato in “Much Ado About Nothing,” and Balthasar in “Comedy of Errors.” With student film directors in the Johnny Carson School he has played several oddball characters in thesis films. They range from despondent police detectives to murderous CIA agents and philosophical fishermen. Film students often ask him to play dyspeptic professors in their films, and he can't quite figure out why. He most recently played a semi-transparent ghost in a national ad for LI-COR Biosciences, Inc. and at the Glenn Korff School of Music he played the wise and kindly basso role of Sarastro in a student production of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.”