“What did you want to be when you were a kid?” This is a common question adults are asked. The answers vary from astronauts to princesses.
However, it is very rare to meet people who have had the same passion from childhood and carried it in to not only their careers, but their lives.
Professor Warren Doody is one such person. At an early age, he wrote and drew original comic books and sold them to his classmates.
“I’m not even sure why I began to create these, but they eventually gave way to short stories, and I simply followed that path through high school, then college, then grad school,” Doody said.
Doody was born in New York City and lived there until he was six, when he moved out to Southern California with his family. He spent his first two undergraduate years at Vanguard when it was Southern California College. He then went to Castleton State in Vermont for another two years where he was recruited for the basketball team.
“People are always surprised when they hear that I played basketball here as well as at Castleton,” he said.
After that, he spent a while jumping around, going to Cal State Long Beach where he received his BA, Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ohio University and UCLA.
“Living in a bunch of different places opened my perception to other ways of life and allowed me to write about them,” he said.
After his time in NAU he joined a local theater company and began to act on stage. He took on famous roles such as Bob Cratchit in “A Christmas Story” and Sherlock Holmes in “Sherlock Holmes’ Last Case.”
“[The people I worked with] were convinced I had an innate acting ability, so I auditioned for a local play. The acting experience allowed me to progress from writing fiction to writing plays,” he said. Some of his favorite playwrights are Tennessee Williams and William Shakespeare.
After his acting stint, he took on playwriting, which eventually led him to where he is now. In 1998, he joined the Vanguard community with a divided interest between the English and Theater departments.
“I was planning on staying a couple years, as I had done with previous places. But here I am, going on the thirteenth year, and the longer I have been here, the more opportunities materialize as well as great experiences,” he said.
In 2001, Elizabeth Leonard from the Sociology Department approached him about writing a play based on her research of battered women who killed their abusers. From this, Doody created the play “Life Without Parole” and in 2008 it was produced at Vanguard with student performance.
“Before writing and producing ‘Life Without Parole,’ I used to predominantly write romantic-comedies and farces. Creating this opened a path for me to write about social issues and give a voice to those who don’t have one. Writing these plays are not just for entertainment, but also to highlight the social ills and issues society is confronted with,” he said.
For Veteran’s Day celebration Doody put on a fifteen-minute excerpt about a play he is currently producing about veterans. The project is picking up momentum and looks at a possible world premiere on Memorial Day in 2012.