Photo by Joy Masi

Dane Eissler (he/they) is a theater director, designer, and educator creating provocative, dreamlike, and visually striking theatrical experiences about the grand poetic ridiculousness of the human condition. 

He is the Founding Artistic Director of A Dead Whale Productions, a multidisciplinary theater collective founded in 2017 in Chicago, and currently serves as Artistic Producer at EgoPo Classic Theater.

In Chicago, Dane produced, wrote, designed, directed, and performed in a number of original productions at A Dead Whale Productions, including Forever Fetal, Apocalypse Twins, Hog'sBelly: A Fable Noir, I Love You, Jane Doe, and The Slather & Gibbs Show: LIVE, which toured to Mt. Carmel, IL and had a primetime run at The Annoyance TheatreHe also worked with The Whiskey Rebellion Theatre, Gorilla Tango Theatre, Living Room Vauntgardia, Rough House Theater, Windy City Performs, Women of the Now, and MTG- and SAG-nominated comedian Megan Stalter’s Freakfest.

In Philadelphia, Dane has worked with B.R.A.T. Productions, Azuka Theatre, and EgoPo Classic Theater.  At EgoPo, he co-directed Williams' Stairs to the Roof with Lane Savadove, adapted and directed Gogol's The Nose, acted in the Barrymore-winning The Seagull, associate directed and acted in the world premiere of John Guare's full Lydie Breeze Trilogy, production designed Williams' And Tell Sad Stories of the Deaths of Queens... (toured to the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival), directed Shepard's Buried Child, co-created and directed UND3RGR0UND (a virtual adaptation of Dostoyevsky) with Damien J. Wallace, production designed a window walk-up production of Beckett's Rockaby, adapted and directed Alice: not your child's wonderland, and co-directed the world premiere theatrical staging of Langston Hughes' The Ways of White Folks with Ontaria Kim Wilson. Most recently, Dane returned to his alma mater, Rowan University, as the Department of Theatre and Dance's Spring 2023 Artist-in-Residence, where directed Peter Shaffer's Equus and teaches a seminar in Queer Theatre.

As a visual artist, Dane has displayed his work throughout Chicago, and was also created live in his pandemic art show "Gettin Sketchy w/ Dane."