Tony French is the first faculty member to hold the New Orleans Theatre Association (NOTA) endowed professorship at the University of New Orleans, the University announced. French, a professor and costume designer in the Department of Film and Theatre, has taught at UNO for 24 years.
The professorship was created with a $60,000 gift from NOTA that was matched by $40,000 from the Louisiana Board of Regents. It remains the largest single grant in the organization’s history of more than 30 years.
“There could be no more deserving professor than Tony French to hold the first NOTA professorship,” said David Hoover, professor and chair of film and theatre. “His commitment to the department and creative excellence will only be enhanced with such an important honor.”
French has designed numerous productions at UNO, including many original plays. He has worked with Southern Rep Theatre; the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane; Hope Summer Repertory Theatre in Holland, Mich.; Actors Theatre of Louisville; the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, Calif.; and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Evansville and a Master of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University.
Originally founded in 1984 as the New Orleans Civic Light Opera, NOTA is the leading presenter of touring theatrical productions and other performing arts presentations in Louisiana. The revenues that it generates are channeled back into the community in the form of grants and other support for qualifying cultural, educational and arts-based organizations.