William LeDent: A Brief History......
Like many actors, William LeDent has followed “the road less traveled” and has a rich, storied background that contributes to his art, his acting, and his teaching and coaching. Born in Philadelphia, his unorthodox path through life began when, as a child, his family relocated to San Diego and he journeyed all the way across America ... by car ... with his entire family ... including the dog.
In a Pinto.
Having survived (and perhaps due to) this confinement, he threw himself into outdoor activities, including camping, beach volleyball and baseball. In high school, he majored in Fine Art while also developing his own personal training and weight lifting program. His love of theater took root when, in his senior year, he wrote one of three original works selected for a student musical program. He also won a lead acting role in all three pieces, and built the sets for the show. By the time he left high school, William was committed to the twin pursuits of art and acting.
For several years, he freelanced as a commercial artist and graphic designer in print media and photography, as well as in fine art including portraits and murals. (See artwork.) Anxious to further his other great love in theater, he started at a local college (Grossmont) where he took on several leading roles and a total of nine plays in three years, including Shakespeare (for which his studies included period dance), Noel Coward, Oscar Wilde and a variety of musicals.
William then transferred to the world-renowned theater program at UCLA, studying both acting and voice. He also focused heavily on movement training, and added martial arts to his repertoire, resulting in an intense, very physical brand of stagecraft. Furthering this interest, he continued his personal-training work, with clients including an NFL defensive back and Alexander professor Jean Louis Rodrigue, with whom he later worked to create the character movements for the morlocks in the 2002 remake of “The Time Machine” with Guy Pierce.
It was also at UCLA that he began to immerse himself specifically in Shakespearean theater. After a focused course of study, he completed a summer program in Stratford-on-Avon in the UK.
Following some post college work in student and independent films, he returned to the east coast to earn his MFA at theAcademy for Classical Acting* (ACA) through George Washington University. At ACA, intense physical training continued, with movement class, stage combat and extensive weapons training. William can now (pretend to) kill you with a dizzying array of both medieval and modern weapons, and do so with expert skill, convincing fluidity, and historical accuracy.
ACA’s demanding curriculum also incorporated serious academic study, including LeCoq masque, intensive period history courses, speech and dialect work and detailed analysis of Shakespearean texts, bringing a more nuanced and mature quality to his work. He has remained back east, currently in the Washington, DC area, focusing on Shakespearean Theatre including multiple productions with the The Shakespeare Theatre Company, working with Michael Khan and Robert Falls, the Kennedy Center's Washington National Opera and Placido Domingo and various others.
He has recently stepped further into film and television his most notable highlights include with a lead role in a national documentary series "Clash of the Titans" playing John D. Rockefeller premiering in late July 2015. A feature film version of Shakespeare's "King Lear" is set to release late 2015 where William plays the notorious and savage Duke of Cornwall.
In 2012 he returned to the academic arena but this time as a professor. Joining the Theater Department at Stevenson University he taught a variety of acting classes for stage and screen as well as stage combat. He also directs university theater productions. He joined up with DC Stunt Coalition as a performer, teacher, and fight choreographer for select projects.
* The ACA was founded by Michael Kahn, director of the Julliard theater program for more than 20 years.