Walter O. Williams, Ph.D.

Professor of Communication and Theatre

Dr. Wally Williams has been involved in 27 theatre productions at PLNU. His directing credits include Waiting for Godot, Uncle Vanya, Caucasian Chalk Circle, Much Ado about Nothing, Dr. Faustus, The Importance of Being Earnest, Freud’s Last Session, and many others. He has over a dozen professional credits for organizations such as the Mark Taper Forum, Long Beach Civic Light Opera, the Christian Broadcasting Network, Showtime Cable, and others.


  • M.A., Performance Studies, School of Theatre, Film, and Television, UCLA
  • M.A., Theatre, San Diego State University
  • Ph.D., Rhetoric, Regent University
  • M.A., Creative Writing, Regent University
  • B.A., Theatre, School of Theatre, Film, and Television, UCLA

Courses Taught

  • Principles of Human Communication – COM 1000
  • Rhetorical Theories and Models – COM 4060
  • Communication, Values, and Society – COM 4085 (Senior Seminar)
  • Introduction to Theatre – TRE 1001
  • Acting – TRE 2070

Experience in Field

  • Production Stage Manager, East of Eden (world premiere in three full-length parts), Western Stage Co., 1992
  • Production Stage Manager, Damn Yankees, Western Stage Co., 1992
  • Assistant Stage Manager, Moon Over Miami, Yale Repertory Theatre, 1989
  • Production Stage Manager, Struck Dumb (premiere) with Joseph Chaikin, Mark Taper Forum/Taper Too, 1987
  • Production Stage Manager, War in Heaven with Joseph Chaikin, Mark Taper Forum/Taper Too, 1987
  • Stage Manager, Boys from Syracuse, Musical Comedy/L.A. Palace Theatre, Hollywood, CA; 1986

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Chair, Faculty Status Committee, PLNU, 2008 – 2009
  • Set Design, Make Believe, a world premiere by Kristin Froberg. Salomon Theatre, PLNU, spring 2007
  • Guest Speaker, New Faculty Seminar, “Diversity” Panel, PLNU, fall 2004
  • Panel Respondent, “Rhetorical Themes in The Matrix,” Film Forum, PLNU, spring 2003
  • Faculty Representative, Student Ethics in Communication Conference, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA; April 2002
  • Director, 2002 Design Jury, San Diego State University
  • Panel Member/Respondent, New Faculty Seminar, “Survivors” Panel, fall 2001
  • Set Consultant, Shades of Grey, Advanced Video Production Project, PLNU, spring 2001
  • Faculty Representative, California State University Fresno, 28th Student Communication Conference, Fresno, CA; April 2001
  • Faculty Representative, Student Ethics in Communication Conference, Pepperdine University, Malibu CA; April 2001

Awards and Honors

  • Who's Who Among America's Teachers, 2005
  • RSCA Best Article, 1997 Award (Spectacular Transcendence)
  • Artist in Residence, Hartnell College, Salinas, CA; 1992
  • Full Doctoral Fellowship, Regent University, 1992 – 1995
  • Full Graduate Fellowship, Yale University, 1988 – 1989

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications

  • “The Performance of Pain and the Evocation of the Sublime: The Suffering Artist as Phenomenological Prophet.” Accepted for presentation at the 2007 Comparative Drama Conference at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA.
  • “Setting the World on Fire Merely to See it Burn: The Censoring of Bernard Shaw’s Testimony in the 1909 Parliamentary Hearings on Censorship.” Presented at the 2006 Conference of the International Shaw Society at Brown University in Providence, RI.
  • Sehnsucht and the Imagination: Mythopoeia as a signpost to the Divine. Presented at the 2000 National Communication Association Convention in Seattle, WA.
  • “Batman as Mythical Expression through Comic Technique.” Co-authored with Alex Wainer. 1998 Popular Culture Convention, Orlando, FL.
  • Spectacular Transcendence: Abundant Means in the Cinematic Representation of African-American Christianity, co-authored with Terry Lindvall and Artie Terry. Howard Journal of Communications, 7:205-220, 1996. (Won the 1997 Best Article Award from the National Communication Association’s RSCA division).
  • “Word of Life, Word of Power: A Comparison of Augustine’s On Christian Doctrine and Longinus’ On the Sublime as Archetypal Spiritual Rhetorics.” Presented at the 1996 Speech Communication Association Convention in San Diego, CA.
  • Dialogic Theory: Toward a Rhetoric of Meaning, presented at annual Colloquium Regent University: Virginia Beach, VA; November 1994.
  • Anagogic Theory: Reappropriating Terms for a Spiritual Rhetoric, presented at annual Colloquium, Regent University: Virginia Beach, VA; October 1993.