Zachary Dunbar is an Associate Professor in Theatre and Performing Arts Graduate Research Convenor (Faculty of Fine Arts & Music, University of Melbourne). He originally trained as a concert pianist in the U.S, at Rollins College with Thomas Brockman, Sylvia Reynolds, master classes with Gary Graffman, Guido Agosti, Rudolph Firkusny and later as a scholarship student at Yale University School of Music (Claude Frank, Peter Frankl, Daniel Pollock), where he won the most outstanding Piano Recital prize, and was also a member of the Honours piano trio coached by the Tokyo String Quartet.
He subsequently won a Fulbright scholarship to the Royal College of Music where he studied with Kendall Taylor, the renowned Beethoven scholar. For several years he pursued a concert career while developing a freelance theatre practice in radio drama (BBC 4), Greek tragedy, mainstream musical theatre, plays, Beijing opera, postdramatic soundscape theatre, and dance theatre. In the UK, he joined theatre workshops and master classes mainly with Complicité theatre (Annabel Arden, Marcello Magni) and Voicemotions (Guy Dartnell). His original works, which he has written and directed, have been produced at the Pleasance Theatre, Bloomsbury Theatre, Brighton Underbelly, Embassy Theatre, Camden People’s Theatre, several Edinburgh-fringe productions (Fringe-First nominated), and the prestigious Jungehunde festival (Denmark). He also has over twenty-five years of experience as an MD, including Charlotte Jones’ The Diva in Me (Brighton Pavilion Theatre – Argus Angel Award, UK tour). As director, productions include Euripides’ Bacchai (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama) and sold out performances of Martin Crimp’s The Country (London Camden Festival). Recent original plays he’s produced and directed in Australia include a performed reading of Florida (La Mama, 2016) and AntigoneX (Midsumma Festival, Theatre Works, 2018). He has also given master classes in musical theatre acting in London, Santiago, New York, Toronto, and throughout Australia. He has several publications in Music theatre, Classics, Theatre history, and Stanislavski studies, and a recent book publication, 'Greek Tragedy and the Contemporary Actor', with Stephe Harrop (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). Currently, he serves on the editorial board of the Studies in Musical Theatre journal. He held the post of Senior Lecturer in Music Theatre at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama where he taught integrative acting approaches in musical theatre and also taught and directed Greek tragedy on Central’s MA Acting course. He also co-designed the Writing for Musical theatre curriculum for the MA Writing programme at Central. He served on the Melbourne Green Room Awards committee (Music theatre), and the advisory board for the recently launched Australian Music Education Board Music Theatre syllabus. His current projects include curating and performing in the 'Refugees, Remembrance and Resilience' concert (Melba Hall) in association with the Australian Fulbright Alumni Association and the Being Human Festival (University of Melbourne), a Chinese translation of the musical 'Sweet Charity' (Mandarin), and a new play 'Beef and Bone'.
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Honours, Awards and Fellowships
Associate Professor In Theatre
Victorian College Of The Arts
Studies in Music Theatre Journal, Editorial Board
Green Room Awards Melbourne
Australian Fulbright Scholars Association
International Federation for Theatre Research (FIRT/IFTR)
Scholarship Application Reviewer
British Fulbright Scholars Association
Mercury Musical Developments (London)
PHD IN DRAMA AND THEATRE
University of London
Doctor of Philosophy
Royal Holloway, University of London
POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA IN MUSIC
Royal College of Music
MASTERS DEGREE IN MUSIC
BACHELOR DEGREE IN MUSIC