Don has degrees in English from IU [Bloomington]. He has taught HS English, was the Associate Director of the IU English Curriculum Study Center [68-71], taught American Lit, literary theory, creative writing, among other courses, in the English Department at Purdue, full-time from 71-78, part-time after he joined the Convocations Department in ’79, where he served for 26 years as Associate Director. He began teaching Jazz History at Purdue in1999 and continues to do that each semester. He has hosted jazz radio programs at various stations in Lafayette since1987, currently he can be heard on WBAA AM920, Purdue’s NPR affiliate, on Sunday evenings.
He has also worked as a musician, run a jazz club, and continues to work as a free-lance lecturer and arts consultant. As a writer, he has co-authored three books about the teaching of literature, writing, and the arts. During his time at Convocations he wrote a quarterly column [The Artful Codger], the 50 year history of the Elliott Hall of Music, the 100 year history of Purdue convocations, and the 25 year history of The Convocations Jazz Set, which he created, produced, and hosted from 1980-2005. He has published several scholarly articles and book chapters on literature, jazz, and the arts, written one play, over 100 poems, about a dozen short stories, a novella, and a novel [Spare Parts and Odd Jobs], which is currently being considered for publication. Enter Love is his first writing for a musical. Another current project called Paint and Poetry; A Conversation, with Jeff Smith [he’s paint], will be on exhibit at the TAF Gallery in Lafayette from 8/6/10-9/10/10, and will also be exhibited in the VPA Gallery at Purdue in February, 2011.
What’s your favorite musical that isn’t named Enter Love?
“Kiss of the Spider Woman” and “The Producers”–depending upon the day and my mood
How old were you when you first performed?
My mother says about six months, if not earlier. She wasn’t impressed.
If your life was made into a movie, who would play you?
Dustin Hoffman early years, Jack Nicholson middle years, Martin Scorsese later [or low budget: Micky Rourke all the way through]
Who should host the Tony awards next year?
Tony [don’t you think it’s about time?]
Who’s your favorite performer?