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J. William Bordeau


Professor Emeritus of Theatre Arts


Theatre Arts


In 1968, Professor J. William Bordeau arrived at Marymount Manhattan College to teach courses in acting, directing, and communication arts. He was instrumental in establishing our BFA programs in Acting and Dance, a move that would strengthen our Theatre Arts department for years to come. In the early 70s, he served as a design consultant for the Theresa Lang Theatre and oversaw the creation of our Black Box Theatre. 

Professor Bordeau was a guest director for Fordham, SUNY Stony Brook and Columbia University and worked professionally in opera, television and film. A board member for several institutions including the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Circum-Arts Foundation and the Neurological Research Foundation of NYC, Bill also served as the U.S. consultant to the Drama Studio (London) where he directed and taught master classes. From the mid-1980s until his retirement, Bill served as our first Director of Recruitment for Theatre Arts, taking particular care in mentoring students through the admissions process and, in collaboration with colleagues, substantially increasing the program in size and quality.

At MMC, Professor Bordeau nurtured the talents of his students, many who have successful careers in Broadway productions, television shows and movies. Upon his retirement, the Board of Trustees named Bill Professor Emeritus of Theatre Arts.

When he passed away in July 2009, alumni and friends came together to discuss how best to honor Bill’s legacy. On October 4, 2009, at a memorial celebration for Professor Bordeau, then-President Shaver announced that, in light of the funds contributed by alumni, the College would rechristen the Black Box in Bill’s honor.