Shawn J. Clerkin
Associate Professor, Theatre
Associate Professor, Fine Arts Program
Director, Liberal Studies
Office: CCA 311
- Courses Taught
- Educational History
Peace to you and yours!
I am Father Shawn Clerkin. I am Gannon's Director of Liberal Studies, and the Co-Director and Associate Professor of the School of Communication and the Arts. I am also a priest in the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania (Episcopal). 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 - this season more than 16 feet have fallen, and I've got the shovel calluses to prove it! I also love Erie becuase, for its size, it is quite diverse. From Nepali and Sudanese refugees to UK and Eastern European immigrants, Erie boasts thousands of citizens from all corners of the globe.
I am also the program director for Performing and Visual Arts. I teach art appreciation, theatre performance, directing, theatre and communication criticism, and musical theatre. As an educator, I have led student trips to New York City, Toronto, Dublin, Edinburgh, London, Paris, and Swansea. Theatre Performance for Media and Theatre/Theatre Technologies and Design, and Theatre and Communication Arts majors have more than 50 distinct performance opportunities each year at Gannon's Schuster Theatre. I really love teaching and directing 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 traditional research and creative publication specialty fluxates between musical theatre (I've been blessed with opportunities to play roles from Arther in SPAMALOT to Jean Valjean in LES MISERABLES), and medieval theatre history/Chiristian spirituality. 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 of Nazareth is...well...he's always surprising even his most devout followers!
My wife, Almi, is the Associate Vice President of University Advancement at Gannon. We enjoy traveling and watching all kinds of serial television...VICTORIA anyone?!? Our newest obsession is Ru Paul's DRAG RACE - the costumes and make-up are FABULOUS. 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, Seamus a.k.a. Sea-Moose, who is dual major in Midlevel Education/Theatre and Communication Arts at Ganon who also loves acting and singing.
I was born in Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania and have lived here in Erie since 1989. From Holidaysburg and Johnsonburg, PA, to San Juan, Argentina, to Richmond VA, to London, England and Los Angeles, CA, I have lived 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!