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Schultz Earns Faculty Distinguished Research Award

Ray Schultz seated in a patterned arm chair, smiling at the camera
Jenna Ray
Publication date: 
April 15, 2020

Professor of Theatre Arts Ray Schultz has earned the 2019–20 University of Minnesota Morris Faculty Distinguished Research Award. The award recognizes sustained research and/or artistic productivity of a Morris faculty member over the course of a career. Schultz is the first recipient to represent the performing arts since the award was first granted in 2000.

“Professor Schultz has had a long and distinguished career, producing a massive body of work that has earned him the admiration and respect of colleagues,” writes nominator Distinguished McKnight University Professor of English Michael Lackey. “The Distinguished Faculty Research Award is granted to scholars who have sustained a high level of research over the course of their career at UMM, and a cursory glance at Schultz’s record of achievement indicates that he more than fulfills this requirement.” 

“Since coming to UMM, I have accumulated a large portfolio of research and creative activity, which has added to my already substantial professional vitae,” Schultz writes. “My time here has made me more deeply appreciate the value of theatre in a liberal arts setting and has made me, I believe, a better artist and teacher for it.”

Education and Expertise

Schultz holds a PhD and MA from Wayne State University and a BA from New York University. His expertise includes theatre history and literature, Shakespeare, acting (he is a member of Actors' Equity Association), and directing.

Schultz’s notable productions include Hedda Gabler (Austin Shakespeare), Hamlet (Austin Shakespeare), Letters of Tennessee Williams (Touring), Doubt (Detroit Repertory Theatre), Burn This (Performance Network Theatre), Next Fall (Performance Network), The Little Dog Laughed (Performance Network), Take Me Out (Performance Network Theatre), Angels in America (Meadow Brook Theatre), All My Sons (Meadow Brook Theatre), Julius Caesar, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Spring Awakening, and The Normal Heart (Morris).

Schultz was named a Founder's Scholar for his project "Performing the Liberal Arts." His research interests include gay dramatic literature, particularly AIDS plays. He has published articles on such playwrights as Terrence McNally, Tony Kushner, Lanford Wilson, and Larry Kramer. Further, Schultz has contributed numerous performance reviews to his field’s premier academic journal, Theatre Journal. With Professor of Studio Art Jess Larson, he co-authored a casebook of Theatre Discipline’s green production of As You Like It, “Staging Sustainable Shakespeare,” which was included in Performance on Behalf of the Environment.

“One cannot emphasize enough that Ray not only excels in three distinct aspects of theatre (actor, director, and scholar), but also has made separate, significant contributions within his writing to the study of Shakespeare, LGBT/AIDS in theatre, and sustainable productions within an academic program,” writes Larson. “Ray exemplifies a commitment and excellence to research that is more than worthy of recognition with this award.”

About the Award 

The 2019–20 University of Minnesota Morris Faculty Distinguished Research Award was established in 2000. The award recognizes sustained research and/or artistic productivity of a Morris faculty member over the course of a career.  Learn more at