Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr. is Professor and Chair of Theatre Arts with areas of expertise in Japanese theatre, African theatre, Shakespeare, Asian cinema, horror cinema, Greek tragedy, stage combat and comedy. He has degrees from Bates College, the University of Leeds and the University of Pittsburgh, where he completed his doctorate in Theatre and Performance Studies. He also received an M.A. in Theology from LMU in 2010.
He is the author of Athenian Sun in an African Sky: Modern African Adaptation of Classical Greek Tragedy (McFarland, 2001), Black Dionysus: Greek Tragedy and African American Theatre (McFarland, 2003), The Empire Triumphant: Race, Religion, and Rebellion in the Star Wars Films (McFarland, 2005), Shakespeare and Youth Culture (Palgrave 2006), Back from the Dead: Reading Remakes of Romero’s Zombie Films as Markers of Their Times (McFarland 2011), Post-9/11 Horror in American Cinema (Continuum, 2012), The Theology of Battlestar Galactica (McFarland 2012), and Modern Asian Theatre and Performance 1900 – 2000 (with Siyuan Liu and Erin B. Mee, Methuen/Bloomsbury, 2014) as well as the editor or co-editor of eleven more volumes, including Modern Japanese Theatre and Performance (Lexington, 2006), Suzan-Lori Parks: A Casebook (Routledge 2007) Revenge: East and West (Palgrave, 2008), Portrayals of Americans on the World Stage (McFarland, 2009), Catholic Theatre and Drama (McFarland 2010), Black Medea: Adaptations for Modern Plays (Cambria, 2013), and the Methuen Drama Anthology of Modern Asian Plays (with Siyuan Liu, Methuen, 2014), among others. He is also the author of numerous articles on theatre, cinema, Japanese culture, popular culture, horror, and performance.
In addition to his scholarly work, Dr. Wetmore is an actor, director, stage combat choreographer, and comedian. His work has been seen on the stages of Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, New York, New Haven, New England, old England and South Africa with many award-winning productions to his credit. He has also appeared in several films and television programs. He was the Founding Artistic Director of the Unseam'd Shakespeare Company. He most recently appeared as Van Helsing in Long Beach Playhouse’s Dracula. A stand-up comedian, Dr. Wetmore has appeared regularly at the Improv, the Downtown Comedy Club, the Ice House, Westside Comedy Theatre and Room 5 Lounge.
He is currently the Secretary/Treasurer of the Association for Asian Performance and a member of many professional organizations, including the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the Association for Asian Studies, the International House of Japan, the Society of American Fight Directors, and the Horror Writers Association. He is also an associate instructor with Dueling Arts International and LMU’s resident Stage Combat Choreographer.