Vincent J. Cardinal is the Arthur and Martha Hearron endowed professor of musical theatre, chair of the department of musical theatre, and professor of music at the school of music, theatre, and dance at the University of Michigan. 

Previously, he was the Artistic Director of Connecticut Repertory Theatre and Chair of the Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of Connecticut. He was identified as one of the top five directors in Connecticut by CBS-WFSB Connecticut. Cardinal was an Associate Artist with the Circle Repertory Company off-Broadway and Director of the School of Theatre. He graduated in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama where he was honored with the ASCAP-Cole Porter Award for Best-Collected Work. His plays have been produced internationally. 

His play, The Colorado Catechism, premiered at Circle Repertory Company. The Los Angeles production of the play garnered actors Timothy Daly and Amy Van Nostrand Dramalogue Awards for Best Performances. Cardinal’s play King Dusyanta: A Tale from Kalidasa premiered, under his direction, at the Oasis Theater Company. It starred Tony Award winner André DeShields.

He was the Chair of Theatre at the University of Miami and the Artistic Director of the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre where his musical theatre productions garnered international attention. He served as the Director of the School of Theater and Head of the MFA Playwriting Program at Ohio University.

He helmed Steve Hayes’ Hollywood Reunion for its New York and regional productions and directed the premiere of Steve Hayes: Tired Old Queen at the Movies LIVE, based on the popular YouTube series, which Cardinal produces and directs.



  • “What we’re teaching is how to communicate and how to tell the human story…the need to tell the story will always be there.” 
  • “I had a calling to do theatre before I knew what theatre was.”
  • “Who an educator is changes with the seasons of their life, and you hope your season is matching up with the generation’s needs at any given time.” 
  • “A student doesn’t have to love a teacher–or the way they go about teaching–in order to learn from them. Part of a student’s job is to get everything out of that teacher possible.”
  • “If you think you want a job, go for it! It might as well be you. The worst thing that happens is you don’t get it–but you’ve met all of these people along the way who might get you another job. If it’s not yours, it’s not yours. It’s fine.” 
  • “You just set up as many doors as possible to walk through, and then see which ones open.” 
  • “Allow your goals to organize some of your thinking and where you go–but don’t define your success or failure based on the goal. Define it on the quality of the journey. Really respect that your journey is perfect. The lessons are in the journey, the goal is just there to give you something to aim at.”
  • “Don’t get too hung up on your ego, because you’ll miss your people.” 
  • “We have to change the future while dealing with the present.” 
  • “In our desire to get back to normal, I don’t want to go back to the old normal.” 
  • “Gather what’s really happening as your real journey. And trust the journey. It’s not what any of us thought, so you’re writing on blank pages. Make it a good story. Make it a journey that’s worthy of everything that led up to it–you can make this time worthy.” 


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DYBP theme song, “Ditch” © 2020 by Dean Keith