Vincent J. Cardinal


Vincent J. Cardinal is the Arthur and Martha Hearron endowed professor of musical theatre, chair of the department of musical theatre, and professor of music at the school of music, theatre, and dance at the University of Michigan. 

Previously, he was the Artistic Director of Connecticut Repertory Theatre and Chair of the Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of Connecticut. He was identified as one of the top five directors in Connecticut by CBS-WFSB Connecticut. Cardinal was an Associate Artist with the Circle Repertory Company off-Broadway and Director of the School of Theatre. He graduated in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama where he was honored with the ASCAP-Cole Porter Award for Best-Collected Work. His plays have been produced internationally.

His play, The Colorado Catechism, premiered at Circle Repertory Company. The Los Angeles production of the play garnered actors Timothy Daly and Amy Van Nostrand Dramalogue Awards for Best Performances. Cardinal’s play King Dusyanta: A Tale from Kalidasa premiered, under his direction, at the Oasis Theater Company. It starred Broadway legend André DeShields.

Cardinal directed Eileen Gallindo’s Multicultural Disorder for Next Stage — off-Broadway showcase, Joe Fox’s new play Prism View at New Dramatists and Paul Corrigan’s Queens Blvd. in a commercial off-Broadway run.

He helmed Steve Hayes’ Hollywood Reunion for its New York and regional productions and directed the premiere of Steve Hayes: Tired Old Queen at the Movies LIVE, based on the popular YouTube series, which Cardinal produces and directs.

He has directed 80 productions from coast to coast; premieres under his direction include Killing El Cid by Dan Shea and Disengaged by Anita Gabrowsek.

Cardinal directed Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahue and The Foreigner by Larry Shue at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Most recently, he directed the musical Fun Home by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori for Encore Musical Theatre.   He directed Terrence Mann in My Fair Lady and  Man of La Mancha; Pat Sajak in The Odd Couple and The Drowsy Chaperone; Steve Hayes in A Funny Thing Happened.., Jerry Adler and Richard Kline in The Sunshine Boys, and Leslie Uggams in Gypsy. Most recently, he directed Xanadu and Fred Grandy in How To Succeed... and On Golden Pond - 2018 Syracuse Area Live Theatre Award (SALT) for Best Production - as well as the plays Peter and the Starcatcher, The Laramie Project, Noises Off, and Six Degrees of Separation, which won the 2017 Syracuse Area Live Theatre Award (SALT) for Best Production as well as Best Direction. 

As producer he has led over 150 productions including Terrence Mann in Les Miserable, Richard Kline in Spamalot, and Barret Foa and Courtney Balan in The Music Man. He served as director of The Curious Case of Phineas Cage with the Split Knuckle Theatre Company. It has been produced at Red House in Syracuse, NY, on tour,  and as part of the New York International Fringe Festival

Cardinal served as the Associate Dean of Performing Arts at Adelphi University. He was the Chair of Theatre at the University of Miami and the Artistic Director of the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre where his musical theatre productions garnered international attention. He served as the Director of the School of Theater and Head of the MFA Playwriting Program at Ohio University.

(Cardinal) is reinvigorating CRT, which could quickly become a true contender in Connecticut's lively regional theater scene.

Cardinal's national reputation as a theater artist of talent and high standards and as an esteemed educator are clearly attractive to veteran and up-and-coming performers and creative collaborators.

…he (Cardinal) has struck a theatrical trifecta, drawing on big-name artists, early and mid-career professionals and recent graduates from theater programs around the nation. The cast sings, acts and moves as a cohesive ensemble and has a great time, winning the audience from the start.

- The Hartford Courant