J.J. Ruscella

Director of Acting Program; Assistant Professor, Theatre/Acting


Ruebush 127C

Faculty Member since 2012

Theatre is a collaborative sport. Here at Shenandoah, one of the nations oldest conservatories, we look towards the future. We work together in an atmosphere steeped in academic rigor, to apply 2,500 years of theatre performance, technique, and theory to the emergent industry.


M.F.A, Rutgers University; B.F.A., University of South Florida; A.A., Seminole Community College

Professional Highlights

  • Ruscella served for twelve years as a Professor of Theatre for the University of Central Florida where he held a joint appointment in the UCF School of Film and Digital Media and co-founded the Interactive performance lab, pioneering in the field of Live Simulation.
  • Director of the New York Film Academy's summer acting program at Disney/MGM Studios for six years.
  • Director of The Hellbound Heart, an original adaptation of Clive Barker's novella on which the blockbuster movie Hellraiser was based.
  • Author of the original short story The Making of a Saint and co-author of its derivative works; the novel Kris...the Legend Begins, and the screenplay Kris.
  • Director/Producer of the feature film The Karaoke King
  • Directed the critically acclaimed Miss Julianne, a Civil War period film that participated at Cannes - Short Corner Film Festival in 2008.
  • Recipient of 2 Bronze Telly Awards and a Gold and Silver Communicator Award for Directing/Acting/Writing the 2010 and 2011 Santa is Real web series.
Personal Highlights

Husband and father of two.