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Shawn J. Clerkin

  • Adjunct Lecturer
  • Adjunct Lecturer
    Fine Arts Program

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!

  • Erie Arts and Culture 2014 Bruce Morton Wright Artist of the Year
  • Erie Arts and Culture Project Grant - Shakespeare Summer Nights - 2003-2016
  • Barker Globalization Grant 2016
  • CETL Technology Grant 2016
  • Introduction to Fine Arts, Spring 2017 - present
  • 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 - present
  • Interpersonal Communication, Fall 2016 - present
  • 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 2015
  • 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
  • Virginia Theological Seminary, Doctorate of Divinity (anticipated 2020)
  • Oxford University/Summer Studies / Graduate Theological Union, 2008, 2009
  • Bexley Hall Seminary, Master of Divinity, 2008
  • Virginia Commonwealth University, Master of Fine Arts / Theatre Directing, "David Mamet's PRARIE DU CHIEN", 1989
  • Gannon University, Bachelor of Arts / Theatre & Communication Arts, 1986
  • 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
Shawn           J. Clerkin

Office: CCA 311

Contact Shawn Clerkin