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Ronald L. Steger - 2011 Outstanding Former Faculty
Theatre and Dance Department
Professor Rebecca Hilliker, Department of Theatre and Dance, describes Professor Emeritus Ron Steger as “an exceptional teacher, colleague, and artist who has provided UW and the community of Laramie with a rich theatrical culture that is unprecedented at the university level.”
In 1971, Steger received a bachelor’s degree in secondary art education from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree in fine arts in 1977 from the University of Florida. Between 1981 and 2004, he was the scenic designer for the UW Department of Theatre and Dance. He taught scenic design, drafting, stage makeup, and twentieth century theatre diversity.
As well as his career with UW, Steger maintained an active freelance scenic design and scene painting career. Primarily, he designed and painted wing and backdrop settings for classical ballets with the Oakland Ballet, Springfield Ballet, Berkeley City Ballet, Charleston Ballet Theatre, and Colorado Ballet. Steger’s design for the UW production of the Nutcracker has enthralled audiences for many years.
Steger’s old Renaissance style mixed with modern technology brings him to the forefront of scenic artists, but he also is a respected teacher. Professor Lou Anne Wright, Department of Theatre and Dance, says, “As a teacher, Steger’s good humor and understanding of group dynamic served him well, but it was his ability to communicate in a direct but fair manner that won him the respect of his students.”
“The most rewarding part of teaching is inspiring a passion in students for their work and seeing the light bulb turn on in someone’s head when they understand a concept,” says Steger.
Steger has received numerous teaching and designing awards, including the Flittie Award, the Seibold Award, the Wyoming Arts Council Performing Arts Fellowship, the Wyoming Governor’s Arts Award, the College of Arts and Sciences Extraordinary Merit in Research and Creative Activity award, and the College of Arts and Sciences Extraordinary Merit in Teaching award. The UW designs for which Steger would like to be remembered are Billy the Kid, Prodigal Son, and Innana, which were in collaboration with Professor Marsha Faye Knight, Department of Theatre and Dance.
“In my 28 years at the University of Wyoming, Ron’s artistry stands alone,” comments Knight. “His ability to translate in paint, form, and color the essence of a concept with carefully considered sensitivity and the finest skills brings Ron to the forefront of scenic artists. I am well aware of my good fortune in sharing over two decades of work with him. Our careers paralleled each other in time, and I relished every collaborative opportunity that we had.”
After retiring from UW, Steger moved to Jamaica where he now plays an active role designing sets, doing lectureships, and offering residencies with the Drama School at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston.