David Kersnar

  • Professor of Practice in Theatre

116 Theatre Building

David Kersnar


David Kersnar, is a founding ensemble member of the Tony Award winning Lookingglass Theatre Company and has performed, designed, written, instructed, produced, and directed with the company since it was founded in 1988, serving twice as the Lookingglass Artistic Director and Lookingglass Education Founder and Director. Kersnar recently co-wrote and directed for Lookingglass the smash-hit adaptation of Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas.

Kersnar has also worked with the Goodman, Steppenwolf, Remains, Alley, Touchstone, Actor’s Gang, Natya Dance and Chicago Children’s Theatres, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Actor’s Gymnasium, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Lyric Opera and Chicago Children’s Choir.

Directing and writing credits include Sita Ram, The Last Act Of Lilka Kadison, La Luna Muda, The Magic Victrola, Popcorn and Pasquale, Don Quixote, Pulchinella, In the Green Meadow, Goodnight Moon, Flying Griffin Circus, Brundibar, Through the Looking Glass, The Lookingglass World Circus, and Lookingglass Lab.

Kersnar co-founded Shaking The Tree Interactive Productions, writing and directing filmed and live business case studies.

Film and television credits include U.S. Marshals, Since You’ve Been Gone, Early Edition, and Turks.

Kersnar received his Master of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University. Kersnar previously served as Head of Theatre and Dance at Oklahoma State University and is honored to join Penn State School of Theatre as Professor of Practice.

Kersnar is also currently in development with Chicago Children’s Choir having just staged a concert version of a new social justice opera, Rainbow Beach co-created with J. Nicole “Slick” Brooks and Mitchell Owens.