This is Warren Doody. He is the Chair of the English Department and Associate Dean of the Division of Education, Arts and Humanities. Warren is also a playwright, and his original scripts include Life Without Parole, Enlightenment.com, Development and his most recent work, Angels in Disguise. He was born in New York City, but his family relocated to Southern California, when he was six and he grew up reading the Hardy Boys and any comic book he could find, including Batman, Superman, The Fantastic Four and eventually, the satirical classic, Mad Magazine.
"My writing career really began as a little kid. I was seven or eight years old, and I started creating my own comic books, writing the text, drawing the cartoons and selling them to my peers for a dollar or two," he remembers. "My dad was an avid reader, so I suppose I modeled him in that respect, but the writing itself, the creativity, I picked up on my own. My reading, of course, influenced my writing. Ian Fleming’s 007, for example, led to my creating my own James Bond-like character, 005 ½, which was a big hit with my grade school peers.”
Warren remembers growing up playing basketball, an obsession that would lead to a collegiate career, first at Southern California College, then at Castleton State College in Vermont. As an undergraduate, he bounced around a bit, eventually receiving his Bachelor of Arts from California State Long Beach University. He followed this with graduate degrees from Northern Arizona University, University of California Los Angeles and Chapman University.
Warren was hired full-time at Vanguard University in 1999-2000. In 2001, at the end of the academic year, a meeting with Dr. Elizabeth Leonard literally changed his life. Dr. Leonard was then Associate Professor of Sociology, who was finishing her dissertation on abused women. The work centered on interviews she’d conducted with 42 women who were serving life sentences at the California Institution for Women in Chino for killing their abusive partners. After watching Warren for a year to make sure he could be trusted with her work, Dr. Leonard asked Warren if he’d be interested in turning her research into a play. The result was Life Without Parole, which premiered as the headline event of the Domestic Violence Awareness Seminar at Vanguard in 2003.
Warren has continued to write and produce original plays inspired by his faith and his surroundings. Development is a dramatic work that addresses the issue of mental illness; Enlightenment.com is a 21st century Shakespearean comedy; and Angels in Disguise, produced in 2019, is a contemporary take on the Christmas play. Warren’s plays have received productions in Los Angeles, New York, Canada and throughout the United States. In speaking of his work, he says, “There is no greater thrill artistically than a successful opening night of something I’ve written.”
Vanguard is so thankful for Warren's heart and leadership in shaping the next generation of English majors as well as playwrights.
- university news