Davidson to NYC and Back Again

Steve Kaliski ’07 has returned home to Davidson as a visiting assistant professor of theatre. He has also taken on a campus-wide leadership role as the chair of the Davidson Arts and Creative Engagement Advisory Board.

His newest play, “The Refugees,” tackles the conflict surrounding a sudden refugee crisis affecting a fictional Greek city-state. Though told in the form of a Greek tragedy, Kaliski argues that many themes of the play can be applied to contemporary issues. The production is a collaborative effort between Kaliski and Davidson students. This unprecedented collaboration featured a one-week workshop in Charlotte this past summer with members of Kaliski’s theatre company, Adjusted Realists. The full production is scheduled for the Spring of 2020.

Normally, theatre departments license already published plays, so having students involved in the writing and development of a new play is a unique learning experience,” he said.

During his years as a Davidson student, Kaliski was heavily involved in the theatre community and acted in several plays, but theatre was not Kaliski’s only area of interest as a student.

“The appeal of a liberal arts education is that you can explore your interest in a variety of different fields,” Kaliski explained.

As an English major and theatre minor, Kaliski spent a summer abroad on the Davidson in Cambridge program studying British literature and spent another semester abroad with the Classics Department, exploring various Mediterranean sites of interest in Italy, Greece and Turkey. Kaliski said that while he always enjoyed theatre as an extracurricular activity, it wasn’t until his senior year when he regarded it as a serious career path.

“I sort of did a gut-check late in my senior year and realized that theatre was the main constant in my life,” he said. “So, I took a chance and pursued a theatre opportunity in New York City along with a friend of mine.”

Since that move in 2007, Kaliski has worked professionally in New York City, teaching theatre and communications at several universities, working as a Broadway Resident Director, and co-founding the Adjusted Realists theatre company. After these successes in New York City, Kaliski took the opportunity to join the team at alma mater.

“I grew up in Charlotte, so in a lot of ways, returning to Davidson feels like coming home,” he said.

Kaliski enjoys teaching Davidson students in a liberal arts environment because their interests are so diverse, just as his were.

“It is a much different experience teaching Davidson students who could be football players, STEM majors or theatre majors, compared to teaching a class full of actors who want to pursue careers in theatre,” he said.

With his play debuting in just a few months, Kaliski is eager to continue his career in academia as well as his involvement with Adjusted Realists. Coming home to North Carolina has allowed for a convergence of passions, back where it all began.


  • October 8, 2019