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David Bassuk

Professor of Acting


Teaching explores the integration of transmedia storytelling, gameplay and immersive design into teaching stage directing, scriptwriting and experimental performance. He holds an M.F.A. from Southern Methodist University. Previously, has taught at Temple University, Penn State and Arcadia University before coming to Purchase College in 2003 to serve as the Dean of Theater Arts & Film in 2003 before returning to teaching full-time in 2007. 

Served as Creative Director for the “Magical Mystery Tree” an immersive theater theme park in the Evergrande Group’s development Ocean Flower Island which is currently under construction in Hainan, China.  He served as Artistic Director of Novel Stages Theater Company and the Arcadia Shakespeare Festival in Philadelphia as well as co-Artistic Director of Ark Theater Company in Los Angeles. Previous artistic administrative positions include positions at the National Endowment for the Arts, Lincoln Center Theater, American Place Theater, and the Pew Foundation

He is a director of many productions, among them Cat’s Cradle a musical by Kurt Vonnegut, Nadine Gordimer’s July’s People, Chaim Potok’s The ChosenOff-Broadway, and American Camera at Lincoln Center. Recent Purchase Repertory productions include last year’s Earthquakes in London as well as past years: The Maids,Tales from the Vienna Woods, Master and Margarita, Hedda Gabler, Peer Gynt, Lady Windermere’s Fan andThe Cherry Orchard.

Current projects include working with UNAMI, The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, a team working for peace in that country. He co-wrote an alternate reality game with a Kurdish writer aimed at building awareness of climate, water, and oxygen safety, which led to a launch in four cities in the Kurdish region of Iraq. Also working on two immersive performance installations in China both in preparation for 2022 for WHITE HORSE IMMERSIVE a company whose mission is creating interactive transmedia & immersive live performance. 

More About Me

Research Interests

Catching the Next Wave Podcast 

Agnieszka Szóstek, Łukasz Szóstek

S3.E4. David Bassuk. The Ultimate Way of Engaging The Audience.

In this incredible conversation we investigate the world of transmedia, gameplay and immersiveness as the future of engaging with the audience before, during and after an event. Last but not least, we look into how theater and play has changed over time and deliberate about its future.

Representative Courses

  • Live Performance & Interactive Media
  • Rehearsal & Performance
  • Advanced Directing for the Stage
  • Adaptation of Literature into Performance 
  • Transmedia & Performance
  • Immersive Storyworlds
  • Gameplay & Performance