Getting to know all about LU professors

Kayla Wilson

Despite all of our complaining, most of us actually love Lawrence. Professor Tim Troy, however, loves Lawrence so much that 12 years after graduating, he came back to teach. In 1997, Professor Troy returned to Lawrence, filling a new position in the theater department, which seeks to “integrate the college and the conservatory.”From an early age, Troy had an interest in the theater, or at least in performing. The youngest of six children, he allegedly enjoyed performing for his older siblings.

“I don’t remember any of these,” he claimed.

While in high school, he started out playing sports mostly, but as the years went on the “sports to theater proportion switched.” During his junior year of high school he was an exchange student in Australia, where he lied about this age and participated in a summer fine arts program.

“I was with adults doing real theater,” he explained. “I was just soaking it up. I loved it, and at 16 I decided this was what I wanted to do.” While at Lawrence he was a history major and did theater activities on the side.

A burgeoning playwright, he had an epiphany: “When I was 21, there was a little voice that said, ‘You aren’t going to have anything to say until you’re 40.'” He put down the pen and shifted his focus to directing.

The summer of his 40th year, however, he did have a play produced. Since then, he is once again shifting his focus, this time with more emphasis on professional playwriting.

A longtime lover of great writing and great literature, he described his special affinity for plays this way: “I like that plays are short, compact, dense and effective. You reflect all the disciplines in every play.”

When asked to “pick his favorite child,” Professor Troy picked three: two professional (“Betrayal,” by Harold Pinter, and the opera “Elixir of Love”) and one at Lawrence (“Our Country’s Good”).

Professor Troy has gained notoriety around campus after a film he contributed to was the 2005 Academy Award winner for best documentary short. Produced by a fellow Lawrence grad, Eric Simonson, “On a Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin” also featured Robert Altman and Walter Cronkite.

“It was fun. It was kinda cool, and we won,” he said of the experience. Yes, he did get to brush elbows with celebrities, and actually stepped on Reese Witherspoon’s dress at the Vanity Fair party.

In his spare time, away from all the excitement, Professor Troy works out regularly. “It helps keep my mood level,” he said, “I actually do work while I’m exercising.” He enjoys mountain biking in the summer and loves being off road.
He watches “The Sopranos” and “Six Feet Under,” and is a self described “news junkie” and “public radio junkie.”

While in Dublin in the fall of 2005, Troy was exposed to many contemporary Irish novelists, and recently read A Long, Long Way by Sebastian Berry and Star of the Sea by Joseph O’Connor. He also read A Tale of Two Cities for the first time and “loved it.”

His musical favorites include Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Frederick Delius, Coltrane, and Puccini. His guilty pleasure? Burt Bacharach.

In a surprising revelation, Professor Troy is also a “car slut.” “I lust after nice cars,” he said, “When my wife sees me do a double-take, she knows its not a 20-year-old, it’s a peculiar vehicle.” The “blissfully married” Professor Troy drives a Honda.