UVA Arts, University of Virginia

Vol 03 Fall 15 Library
Michael Bailey


When Tom Bloom first assumed the Chair of the Drama Department in 2005, he knew he would be overseeing a time of great transition and change. Completing his 3rd three-year appointment on Aug 24, Tom leaves his position as chair to rejoin colleagues in furthering the bright and dynamic future of the department. High among Bloom’s long list of accomplishments is his stellar track record for shepherding and advancing his colleagues and former students. Bloom was instrumental in the promotions of key Drama personnel, and his many successful hires include his successor, incoming Chair Colleen Kelly, who will lead the department through its next exciting chapters.

A dedicated mentor as well as an award-winning scenic designer, Bloom has been instrumental in launching the award-winning careers of MFA students currently making their marks on Broadway, in Boston, and at universities around the country. And his own work has been consistently featured and acclaimed on UVa stages. Bloom produced 58 productions (Drama Department and Heritage Theatre Festival) during his time as chair, while designing 22 to add to the 52 he designed during his first ten years in the department.

Another lasting legacy lies in the Ruth Caplin Theatre, the 300-seat thrust style-theatre that has added a new dimension to the department’s performance and academic offerings. From the day he took over as chair and for the eight years that followed, Bloom was fully immersed in the Caplin’s planning and design processes. From the stage house to the audience configuration, to the actor dressing and green room areas, and the newly configured lobby that now serves all three theatres, every aspect of the finished product bears his handprints.

The department will bear Bloom’s stamp in many other ways, including the continued emergence of its Dance Program. He has been instrumental in guiding and growing the program since 2005, and thanks to a generous pair of major research grants from the Office of the Vice Provost of the Arts and an Inaugural Arts Endowment Grant, it is poised for future success.

Read the next story

Symphony Brings Magic of Music to County Schools