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Loras College Names New Director of Theatre

Loras College announces the hiring of Ryan Decker as assistant professor and director of theatre. He becomes only the seventh director of the Loras Players in its 108-year history. Decker replaces Doug Donald who retired in May after 18 years at Loras.

Decker, a native of Dubuque, will teach in the Loras’ Communication and Fine Arts Department, direct productions through the College’s Loras Players theatre organization, direct a biennial faculty/staff play, serve as the advisor to DuProv, an improv troupe, as well as the Guild of St. Genesius Theatre Honor Society.

Locally, Decker served as a director for the Grand Opera House and Dubuque Fine Arts Players. For more than six years, Decker was the events editor for Julien’s Journal Magazine.

In 2008, he co-founded and served for seven years as artistic director for Trainwreck Productions in Dubuque, a “found-space” theatre company that presents contemporary ensemble and original productions. He is now managing director.

Decker has directed and acted in a variety of plays and musicals, from classical to original productions throughout the Midwest and South.

Highlights of his directing work include The Royale (University of New Orleans; KCACTF Excellence in Directing, Invited Production; Big Easy-nominated), The Drowsy Chaperone (Dubuque Grand Opera House) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bard-in-the-Yard/University of Northern Iowa).

Early in his career, he served as marketing and public relations director for the NOLA Project, an ensemble-driven theater company, in New Orleans, and assistant director for Southern Rep Theatre, the city’s only year-round professional theater.

Decker earned his bachelor’s degree in theatre performance/acting and a minor in music from the University of Northern Iowa. He later received his master of fine arts degree in film and theatre performance/directing from the University of New Orleans.

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