Shawn J. Clerkin
Associate Professor, Theatre
Director, Liberal Studies
Interim Co-Director, Communication and The Arts
Office: CCA 311
- Courses Taught
- Educational History
Hi. I'm Father Shawn Clerkin. I am an Associate Professor in the School of Communication and the Arts, and Priest in the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania in The Episcopal Church. 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.
I am the Director of Theatre and Program Director for Performing and Visual Arts. I teach art appreciation, theatre performance, directing, theatre and communication criticism, and musical theatre. I also 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, Edinburgh, London, Paris, and Swansea. 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 research specialty centers on medieval theatre history and Chiristian spirituality 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, is completing her tenure as Executive Director of the Erie Playhouse and we enjoy traveling and watching all kinds of serial television...SHERLOCK anyone?!? Our newest obsession is THE QUEEN on Netflix. 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 computer science/software engineering major 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 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!