Faculty Profile: David Krasner

by Beacon Staff • October 10, 2007

While the Yale University export hopes to bring his past experiences - along with a little bit of Ivy League cred - into the performing arts program, he wants to make one thing clear: he is learning just as much from his students as they from him.,David Krasner, the new undergraduate head of acting at Emerson, was fully aware of Emerson's reputation when he decided to pursue the new head position in the acting department.

While the Yale University export hopes to bring his past experiences - along with a little bit of Ivy League cred - into the performing arts program, he wants to make one thing clear: he is learning just as much from his students as they from him. And, even though he's spent a lifetime hamming it up as an actor, there is nothing fake about this.

"I can relate, having worked as a cab driver and waiter in New York. I know that it takes a little bit of madness to get by in this crazy career," Krasner said.

Krasner has aimed his life's work at improving theatre and he has no doubt that he does it well. However, he recognizes the unstable lifestyle that it presents to student actors. And that's part his job, he said, to try to keep each actor that graduates from Emerson's acting program on par with the expectations of a rather competitive industry.

"It's important for me to guide my students into the real world with a bit of stability," he said.

Krasner had his first acting gig as a second-grader playing Santa Claus in his school Christmas pageant, and he has not stopped since. Yet, it was not until after teaching voice, speech and acting at New York's American Musical and Dramatic Arts college that he realized that his passion was being a teacher of the theatre rather than a student.

At this point, he decided to pursue his teaching career and went on to earn a M.F.A. degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Ph.D. from Tufts University in Medford. With his years of education in the performing arts, he says acting is an art form that requires constant communication and growth.

"Art is something that can never be packaged. You can keep adding and adding to it and it will never grow old," Krasner said. "There is so much beauty in art. One of my favorite examples is William Shakespeare. He gave us words, but it is up to the actor to put life behind them."

But, more than any other word or proverb, Emerson's new acting head epitomizes a phrase that predates even Shakespeare: "The show must go on."

Because, for Krasner, no matter where he's teaching, the show will never stop.