Associate Professor, Theatre
Director, Theatre
Phone: 814-871-7493
Office: SCOT 115
clerkin001@gannon.edu

  • Biography
  • Courses Taught
  • Educational History
  • Service

Biography

Hi. I'm Shawn Clerkin. I am an associate professor of theatre, communication, and fine arts at Gannon University. Gannon is located right on the Lake Erie (well, about six blocks from Presque Isle Bay) in Erie, Pennsylvania. One of the reasons I love Erie is the snow...we get a lot of it. For its size Erie has quite a bit of diversity. From Nepali and Sudanese refugees to Irish and Scots immigrants, Erie boasts thousands of citizens from all corners of the globe.

Currently, I am the director of theatre. I teach theatre performance, directing, history, and criticism, and advise the Epsilon Upsilon chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha social fraternity. As an educator, I have led student trips to New York City, Toronto, Dublin, London, and Paris. Theatre and theatre/communication arts majors have fun and do lots of great stuff!! I really love teaching here at Gannon. Some people are impressed that I've studied Shakespeare with Janet McTeer, acting with Alan Rickman, professional performance with Ian McKellen, and even personally toasted Dame Judy Dench at the National Theatre backstage canteen when I studied at the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain.

My research specialty centers on medieval theatre history and theology. While I have written enough criticism and short form presentations to fill volumes, I have yet to concretize them into a single volume. In the longterm, I hope to marry my passion for theatre and theology in a compendium of medieval theatrical presentations of Jesus Christ, reflecting on how characterizations in cycle plays either relected or led Christological writings of the time. This will be years in the making--but my favorite thing about Jesus Christ is...well...he's always surprising even his most devout followers!

My wife, Almi, works at the Erie Playhouse and we enjoy traveling and watching all kinds of serial television...Farm Kings anyone? Our newest obsession is THE NEWSROOM. In my spare time, aside from watching television, I follow my beloved Julian of Nowich, thirteenth century mystic, and anxiously await the next great accomplishment of my son, Sea-Moose.

I was born in Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania and have lived here in Erie since 1989. From Holidaysburg and Johnsonburg, PA, to Richmond VA, to London, England and Los Angeles, CA, I have studied in a lot of places and continue to sojourn throughout the world, hoping to end my days in a small vicarage on the southern coast of Ireland - Dungarvan, County Waterford, would be heaven on earth to me!

Oh...I also appreciate and continue to emulate colleague and friend, Dr. Jeffrey Bloodworth!

Courses Taught

* First-Year Seminar/Practicum in Theatre, Radio and Television (COMM 161), Fall 2000 – present.

* Fundamentals of Play Directing, Spring 1991 – present.

* Human Communication and Society, Fall 2013.

* Introduction to Theatre/Theatre and Culture (LFIN 250/THEA 111), Spring 1993 – present.

* Writing for Stage and Screen, Fall 2010 - present.

* Fundamentals of Public Speaking (SPCH 111), Fall 1989 – Spring 2013.

* Contemporary Issues in Theatre and Media, (COMM 220) Spring 2007 – Spring 2013.

* Theatre Criticism, Fall 1998 – Spring 2009.

* Voice and Diction, Spring 1993 – Spring 2013.

* Musical Theatre, Fall 1996 – Fall 2012.

* Television and Radio Performance, Fall 1992 – Spring 2004.

* Fundamentals of Acting, Fall 1989 – Fall 2002.

* Modern/Contemporary Drama, Fall 1991 – Fall 2002.

* Analysis of Dramatic Literature, Spring 2002.

* Acting Styles, Spring 1994 – Fall 2001.

* Radio Theatre, Fall 2001.

* Mixed Chorus, Spring 1990 – Spring 2001.

* Criticism of Television and Radio, Fall 2000.

* Child Drama, Fall 1990 – Spring 2000.

* Rise of Western Consciousness (break-out leader), Fall 1997 – Spring 1998.

Educational History

* Oxford University/Summer Studies / Graduate Theological Union, ThD, anticipated degree 2016

* Bexley Hall Seminary, MDiv, 2008

* Virginia Commonwealth University, MFA / Theatre Directing, "David Mamet's PRARIE DU CHIEN", 1989

* Gannon University, BA / Theatre & Communication Arts, 1986

Service

* Vicar, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Lawrence Park, PA, September 2009 – present.

* Order of Julian of Norwich, Associate Member, August 2004 – present.

* Assisting Clergy, Cathedral of St. Paul (Episcopal), Erie, PA, September 2005 – December 2009.

* Lay Leader/Assisting Clergy, Church of the Holy Spirit (Episcopal), April 2004 – September 2005.