Henry Bial

Senior Associate Director
Professor, Theatre
Primary office:
(785) 864-4225
Nunemaker Center
Room 201


Originally from New York City, I’ve been proud to be a KU faculty member since 2005. I hold a PhD in Performance Studies from New York University and a BA in Folklore and Mythology from Harvard University. As a Professor in the Department of Theatre, my research and teaching is interdisciplinary in nature and focuses primarily on the history and theory of popular entertainment, with special attention to issues of religion and ethnicity on Broadway. My most recent book is Playing God: The Bible on the Broadway Stage (University of Michigan Press, 2015). For more about my research and publications, please see HenryBial.com.

What I Do at Honors

I assist the Director of the Honors Program on matters of faculty engagement, including but not limited to working with the Honors Faculty Fellows and faculty teaching honors classes across campus. I advocate for the program and its students both on and off campus and participate in strategic planning efforts.

Why I Love Working in Honors

When it comes to recruiting and retaining outstanding students (and faculty), the University Honors Program is one of KU’s greatest assets. These remarkable people are ready to engage in the kind of far-ranging, boundary-crossing conversations that just don’t happen elsewhere.

I Can Help with . . .

  • Research and study in the arts and humanities, as well as in interdisciplinary fields such as American Studies; Jewish Studies; and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
  • Applying to MA, MFA, and PhD programs in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
  • Theatre and performing arts opportunities on and off campus.

Course offerings are “among the most comprehensive in the nation,” according to “A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs”
98% of University Honors Program graduates are employed or accepted to graduate school within six months of graduation
40% of students in the University Honors Program conduct research before graduation
9 to 1: Average ratio of KU honors students to faculty advisors
1 of only 7 programs nationwide to receive a top rating from “A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs” in 2014
60% of University Honors Program students study abroad
KU honors students select their advisors from top-ranked KU faculty
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