Leonard C. Pronko

Leonard C. Pronko

Fellow: Awarded 1963
Field of Study: French Literature

Competition: US & Canada

Pomona College

Leonard C. Pronko is Professor of Theatre at Pomona College in Claremont, California. Since 1965 he has directed some twenty Kabuki productions in English at the College and elsewhere. In 1970 he was the first non-Japanese to study at the Kabuki Training Program at the National Theatre of Japan. He has studied Kabuki dance with a number of eminent dance teachers both in the U.S. and in Japan. In 1972 Pronko received a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for his Kabuki productions, and in 1973 took his actors to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington as part of the American College Theatre Festival. In 1986 Pronko received the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Third Degree, from the government of Japan in recognition of his achievements in introducing Kabuki to the West. In 1997 he received the ATHE (Association for Theatre in Higher Education) Award for Outstanding Teacher of Theatre in Higher Education.

Pronko has written a number of books on Western and Eastern theatre, including The World of Jean Anouilh, Avant-garde, Theatre East and West, Guide to Japanese Drama, and Eugène Labiche and Georges Feydeau. He has published translations of the plays of Alfonso Sastre, and monographs on French playwrights like Ionesco and Feydeau. He has also published translations of five kabuki plays and of Hanayagi Chiyo’s study of Fundamentals of Japanese Dance. For twenty-seven years Pronko was Professor of Romance Languages at Pomona College and taught French language and literature and occasionally Spanish and Italian language. For the past twenty-six years he has taught in the Department of Theatre and Dance, where he continues to direct plays, including many Western classics from Marlowe and Racine to Ibsen and Pirandello.


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