Marrying Faith & Art

June 28, 2019 0 comments

Award-winning Broadway Producer Named Regent’s 2019 Alumnus of the Year

Regent’s 2019 Alumnus of the Year wasn’t expecting to be recognized by the university for his work in theatre arts. Minutes before his commencement address to graduates, Bruce Long (SCA ’01) told Impact, “I’m still a little surprised because I’ve never considered myself someone who might be worthy of this distinction. I’m just doing what I believe God has called me to do.”

What Long has been called to do is make an impact on Broadway, off-Broadway and on London’s West End — among other places. His affiliated theatre productions have garnered four Tony Awards and two Olivier Awards while collecting 15 Tony Award nominations and eight Olivier Award nominations. He is a published author and the founder of The Repertoire Fund, a $100 million commercial theatre investment collective.

“I don’t feel like I’m necessarily doing anything special,” Long said. “I know it is when I put it on paper, but the reality is, I wasn’t expecting it. I’m really honored by the recognition that the work we’re doing is significant to the kingdom.”

The Alabama native now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife Michelle (who’s also a Regent alum) and their three children. But when he applied to Regent in the early ’90s, Long was doing Christian stand-up comedy. At that time, well-known comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, Roseanne Barr, Tim Allen and others had their own television shows.

“I thought, if I go to Regent, I’ll be close to CBN, and maybe I can parlay my stand-up into a Christian sitcom,” he recalls. “Why I came here was really quite surface but what ultimately happened was I went deeper into theatre and got the training I really desired; and I believe that was a God thing. I’ve been working in theatre ever since.”

Long explained that he attended Regent with the goal of marrying faith and art by combining theatre and ministry work. But God had an even bigger plan: “At the end of the day, what brought me here — I’m 100% convinced — was the Holy Spirit working, moving and directing some of my desires. There was a plan that was unfolding, but I didn’t realize it then.”

The Alumnus of the Year award was established in 2004 by Regent’s Office of Alumni Relations to recognize individuals who have gained elite distinction by their accomplishments and have brought positive change to the world. Upon receiving his award during Regent’s commencement, Long addressed the graduates. He urged his fellow “artists of faith” to contemplate three words: silence, beauty and improvisation.

“Our culture completely disregards the power of silence,” he insisted. “I encourage you to schedule recurring retreats of silence into your life.” He continued, “Beauty is oxygen. We cultivate culture by infusing our world with beauty. Craft a beautiful life and the world becomes a better place.”

In closing, Long spoke about the importance of improvisation. “When the triune God is your improv partner, you can safely say, ‘Yes, and …’ — accepting what He offers and expanding the opportunity He’s afforded you. … You can trust the Creator to form a masterpiece from the ad-libbed scenes of your play as well. Now, Christian leaders, walk humbly in your calling, and change the world.”

The Office of Alumni Relations helps Regent graduates stay connected to the university and to each other.
Visit for more information.

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