Lee Devin

Lee Devin

Lee Devin graduated from San Jose State College in 1958 and took his PhD (1967) at Indiana University. He taught at I. U., the University of Virginia (1962-66), Vassar College (1966-70), and Swarthmore College (1970-2002). In 1970 he founded The Theatre at Swarthmore, which became in time the Department of Theater Studies. He retired from teaching in ’02. In 1975 he became a member of the artistic staff of the People’s Light and Theatre, acting, teaching acting, and doing dramaturgy.


Along the way, he wrote articles, plays, librettos, and translations; he worked as a technical director, master electrician, production stage manager, and dramaturg; he acted and directed in the academy, the regional theatre, and for movies and TV. He has a Screen Actors Guild residuals check in the amount of $0.01 to memorialize his brilliant movie career.


With Rob Austin, then of the Harvard Business School, he wrote Artful Making; What Managers Need to Know about How Artists Work, published in 2003. In 2005 it won LMDA’s Elliott Hayes Award for dramaturgy. It’s about using theatre techniques to do creative work in business: replacing restraint with release, compromise with collaboration, and industrial teams with knowledge work ensembles. He and Rob are at work on their next book, called Making Special Things: The Role of Aesthetics in Business Competition.


He’s currently a Consulting Dramaturg at People’s Light, a Senior Research Scholar at Swarthmore College, and a Consultant for the Cutter Consortium Innovation Practice. He’s at work on several writing projects that interfere with his trout fishing and cause him to neglect his grandchildren.