Donald Ray Schwartz has published nearly 200 works, including short stories, essays, articles, reviews and criticisms, a novella, and non-fiction works. Lillian Russell: A Bio Bibliography, in collaboration with Anne Bowbeer is considered the definitive resource on the late 19th, early 20th centuries chanteuse and a significant contribution to that period of American theater in general. Noah’s Ark: An Annotated Encyclopedia of All the Animal Species in the Hebrew Bible was the Jewish Book Club Selection of the month in the year it was published, and is still considered the definitive resource for that subject.
I have been fortunate to be deeply involved in academe with my higher education degrees and apprenticeship in a professional film company, I have been fortunate to have three appointments in three schools of higher education, progressing from part time instructor to Associate Professor in Speech, Theater, and Mass Communication (especially(motion pictures and television).
I have been a member of the theatre and film communities for a very long time, as a young man commanding principal or supporting roles, and in academic and professional theater and film as producer and director receiving awards from such institutions as the Kennedy Center, the Mellen International Epic Poetry Contest, and co-producing an off-Broadway play with Merrill Streep.
The theater and film communities are, for the most part, welcoming , for all recognize that no play or screenplay is ever finished until the production company agrees to its rehearsal and production. It is the one case where the author of the work recognizes or should recognize that the script will no longer be his or hers alone but fully explored by all involved.
As an Air Force officer assigned to an ICBM (Titan II, 10 megaton) weapon system wing, trainer of the missile crews, and intelligence officer, I had full access to the top secrets of our nation. This community felt as I did—we may disagree with some of our fellow citizens’ views, but we took an oath to defend their right to express those views. I have always been faithful to that oath and felt full part of that community.
Whether Jewish-American or American Jew, my orthodox and conservative observance and education has contributed to my feeling part of a community wherever I do. For many years, I have studied with significant rabbis, in Torah, Tanach, Talmud, Midrash, history, all areas of Judaica. I have conducted services at Jewish nursing homes, by request asked to instruct church groups in the Passover Seder, taught class in Torah and Talmud; I currently at my synagogue in midrash.
As an Associate Professor in Speech, Theatre and Mass Communication, I have directed and produced over 40 mainstage and laboratory theatre productions, and co-produced an off Broadway production with Meryl Streep.
Winner of several awards, including the only Kennedy Center Ensemble Award for CCBC’s Essex production of The Taming of the Shrew.
As a young man, I acted in principal and supporting roles (over 40), academic and professional. Roles included Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire; Horatio in Hamlet; The Villain in Little Mary Sunshine.