Lamar University's Department of Theatre & Dance is dedicated to providing students with diverse and professional learning opportunities. The department regularly engages guest artists to work with students to create dance and theatre works, to conduct workshops and master classes, and produce performances.
Recent guest artists include:
Actress and University of Windsor professor, Meaghen Quinn, visited Lamar to teach the Acting II Stage Movement class.
In a joint endeavor between the Department of Theatre & Dance and the Department of Communication, interactive media producer Konstantin Brazhnik taught courses in film and media and gave a talk on the history of film. Brazhnik holds an M.F.A. in cinema production from the celebrated School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.
Jesus Pineda, a graduate of the theatre program at Lamar, and currently first electrician at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island, returned to design lights for the LU production of the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
In fall of 2011, performance artist Tim Miller was in residence for a week to perform his piece Glory Box and to conduct a workshop in which students and faculty crafted a one-hour performance titled Body Maps.
L.A.-based actor/director Nathanael Johnson was in residence January 24 - February 20 to direct The Tempest; he also conducted a master class titled The Secret to Great Acting.
A Beaumont native, Sean Carmon recently danced in the revival of La Cage aux Folles on Broadway, and he received his B.F.A. in dance at the Alvin Ailey/Fordham School in New York City. Currently he is a company member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He is a frequent guest teacher in dance at Lamar.
J. Hernandez was guest artist for the fall 2010 production of A Doll's House. Hernandez, a Texas native, grew up in the Rio Grande Valley where he first found an interest in theatre working on productions in the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Tri-City area. After high school, he went on to receive his B.F.A in acting at the College of Santa Fe, and, later on in 2005, would received his M.A. in directing from Texas State University in San Marcos. His most recent degree, completed in 2008, comes from the University of Virginia, where he earned his M.F.A. in acting. Upon graduating from Virginia, Hernandez has gone on to work for the Heritage Theatre Festival, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival and the Texas Shakespeare Festival.
In 2009-2010, the department was awarded an American Masterpieces: Dance-College Component grant, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, to restage Donald McKayle's Games (1958). Students had the opportunity to work closely with Mr. McKayle and his assistant to recreate this work, participate in master classes and attend a lecture about his life and career. Games then toured at area schools during the month of February to commemorate Black History Month.
Richard Robichaux & Jeremy Hutton
In the spring of 2010, L.A.-based actor Richard Robichaux conducted a master class on auditioning for the camera for theatre majors, and guest artist Jeremy Hutton, artistic director of Hart House Theatre in Toronto, led workshops on stage combat and choreographed fights for the Lamar Studio Theatre production of The Burial at Thebes.