Special Events & Opportunities


“From Everyman to Everybody” 

An Interactive Lecture with Dr. Joanne Maguire and Dr. Mark Pizzato

Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 4 PM | Robinson 109

Join Joanne Maguire and Mark Pizzato for a discussion of God, Death, Good Deeds, Love and other allegorical characters in the journey to every-person’s life, seeking meaning beyond it, according to the early modern English play, Everyman (c. 1500) and the postmodern American play, Everybody (2017, by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. This one-hour discussion, with reception to follow, is offered one week before the opening of Jacobs-Jenkins’ Everybody in the Black Box Theatre. 

Joanne Maguire, Ph.D.’s books include Nobility and Annihilation in Marguerite Porete’s ‘Mirror of Simple Souls’ (2001), Waiting in Christian Traditions:  Balancing Ideology and Utopia (2015), and the forthcomingThe Religious Studies Skills Book, co-authored with Eugene V. Gallagher.  Dr. Maguire is the recipient of the Bank of America Award for Teaching Excellence at UNCC (2012), the NC Board of Governors Teaching Award (2013), and the American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in Teaching (2016). 

Mark PizzatoPh.D., has published seven books, including Edges of Loss (1998), Theatres of Human Sacrifice: From Ancient Ritual to Screen Violence (2005), Ghosts of Theatre and Cinema in the Brain (2006), Inner Theatres of Good and Evil: The Mind's Staging of Gods, Angels and Devils (2011), and Beast-People Onscreen and in Your Brain: The Evolution of Animal-Humans from Prehistoric Cave Art to Modern Movies (2016). He also co-edited Death in American Texts and Performances (2010). His newest book is Mapping Global Theatre Histories (2019).

Black Acting Methods: The Field and the Text

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at 5:30 PM | Robinson Choir Room

This lecture provides a theoretical and historical overview of the field of Black Acting Methods and the text that has catalyzed and mobilized the most recent wave of  advocacy work that seeks to decolonize actor training programs.

Sharrell D. Luckett, PhD, is founding Director of the Black Acting Methods Studio and Director of the Helen Weinberger Center for Drama and Playwriting at the University of Cincinnati (UC). At UC, she is also a Drama and Performance Studies professor in the Department of English & Comparative Literature, and collaborates with the Acting and Musical Theatre concentrations in the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). A sought-after artist and speaker, Luckett has had residencies at renowned institutions, such as the Lincoln Center, Harvard University and 92Y. She is lead editor of Black Acting Methods: Critical Approaches and author of YoungGiftedandFat. Always on the cutting edge, upcoming projects include a collaboration with Carrie Mae Weems, a book on the work of Oscar winner Tarell Alvin McCraney, and the opening of the Black Acting Methods Online Institute.  

Rahbi Hines is Executive Artistic Associate with the Black Acting Methods Studio. In addition to facilitating the Studio’s intensives and workshops, he is a dynamic theatre artist, instructor, and musician. Honing his skills at his grandfather’s church in the heart of Atlanta, GA and at the Freddie Hendricks Youth Ensemble of Atlanta, Hines is known for his infectious energy in the classrooms and on the stage. His genius musicianship has rightfully gained the admiration of industry greats such as Erykah Badu and Janelle Monáe; and he has opened for the likes of SZA, Tyler The Creator, Big Freedia, Bilal and more. A practitioner of the Hendricks Method, Hines unites beautiful people from all walks of life through his artistry. 


Far Away: Post-show Audience-Centered Conversation facilitated by Dr. Susan Harden

Saturday, February 15, 2020 | Black Box Theater

Everybody: Post-show Audience-Centered Conversation facilitated by Dr. Mark Pizzato

Friday, November 1, 2019 | Black Box Theater
Mark PizzatoPh.D., is the Professor of Theatre and Film in the UNC Charlotte Department of Theatre. He has published seven books, including Edges of Loss (1998), Theatres of Human Sacrifice: From Ancient Ritual to Screen Violence (2005), Ghosts of Theatre and Cinema in the Brain (2006), Inner Theatres of Good and Evil: The Mind's Staging of Gods, Angels and Devils (2011), and Beast-People Onscreen and in Your Brain: The Evolution of Animal-Humans from Prehistoric Cave Art to Modern Movies (2016). He also co-edited Death in American Texts and Performances (2010). His newest book is Mapping Global Theatre Histories (2019).

Detroit in 1967: Post-show Audience-Centered Conversation facilitated by Ron McClelland

Wednesday, October 2, 2019 | Black Box Theater

Ron McClelland (BFA, MA, CSD) [Director] is a graduate of The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology where he earned a Masters in Christian Studies (Theology and Culture), and the two year Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction (CSD).  Ron is also a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama (BFA Acting), and is the recipient of their New York Alumni Award for Acting (The Henry Boettcher Award), an honor he shares with Academy Award winning actress and fellow alum Holly Hunter. Some of the theatre companies he’s worked with include The Pittsburgh Public Theatre, City Theatre, and the Tony Award-winning Intiman Theatre in Seattle. As an instructor Ron has taught acting at the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Pittsburgh High School for Creative and Performing Arts, Carnegie Mellon University’s Pre-College Theatre Program, and the University of Pittsburgh as a guest lecturer/artist in residence.  Having served as an actor/teacher, pastor, and spiritual director, Ron utilizes a unique set of skills in cultivating the spiritual life and creative work of artists, and helping people of diverse vocations discover and renew their spiritual/creative life.

Coffee Chat with Black Acting Methods Studio

Friday, October 11, 2019 at 10 AM | Robinson 308

Theatre majors/minors, come have coffee and desserts with BAM residency teachers.

WORKSHOPS, MASTER CLASSES, and Interactive Seminars

Bridging the Gap in Theatre: Working with African American Hair and Makeup for the Theatre with Jerrilyn Lanier

Friday, March 20, 2020 at 1:30 PM | Robinson 205

Workshop participants will dive into African American hair & makeup techniques: covering use of tools and products for designing hair & makeup for the stage. The issues that performers of color face in this industry will be discussed as part of the workshop process. No experience necessary! Tools will be provided.

Jerrilyn Lanier holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Master of Fine Arts in Costume Design and Production from the University of Alabama. Roll Tide! She was fortunate to train under Martha Ruskai in the makeup and hair design areas, and to help the Ben Nye company reformulate their African American stage makeup kits. She has designed costumes for theatre, dance and film and does freelance wig design work. She started Bridging the Gap in order to open up conversations in the theatre and film industries with other theatre artists on how to work with African American hair and makeup. This work is a true passion project for her.

Welcome to the Rock: Musical Theatre Workshop with Come From Away National Tour Members Amelia Cormack and Sharone Sayegh

Friday, January 10, 2020 at 10 AM | Rowe Recital Hall

Sign-up by emailing Professor Laura Waringer at lwaringe@uncc.edu.

During this 1.5 hour workshop, students will learn the opening number of Come From Away—“Welcome to the Rock.” Participants don't need to memorize anything, but please listen to the song on Spotify or YouTube before you come!

SHARONE SAYEGH is currently playing Bonnie on the 1st National Tour of Come From Away. She most recently originated the role of Anna in The Band’s Visit on Broadway (OBC)Other Broadway: Mamma Mia!. Off Broadway: Mrs. Trumbauer in Road Show (City Center Encores), Anna in The Band's Visit (Atlantic Theater Co, World Premiere), Sharone in The Wildness (Ars Nova, World Premiere), and Scheherazade in Scheherazade (Prospect Theater Co). Regional: La Jolla Playhouse, The Muny, Florida Rep, San Jose Rep. TV: Instinct (CBS), Limitless (CBS).

AMELIA CORMACK is currently touring North America with Come From Away. A singer, actor, musician, songwriter, and voice-over artist, Amelia is one of the original Divas from Priscilla, Queen of the Desert the Musical, and has toured the US with Kinky Boots (1st National Tour) and Les Miserables (North American Tour). Other theatre credits include Razorhurst (Hayes Theatre Company), Jesus Christ Superstar, Rock of Ages, The Full Monty, Man of La Mancha (Alpine Theatre Project), and Sirens of Song (Milwaukee Repertory). 

Hip-Hop Theatre Workshop

Friday, October 11, 2019 at 11:15 AM | Rowe 163

Instructor: Kashi Johnson, MFA - Lehigh University

Sign-up is limited. Notification about how to sign up will be sent out soon. 

Hip Hop has enjoyed a sustained and profound influence on culture for over forty years. While so many of today’s actors bring a Hip Hop sensibility to the acting studios, many instructors are ill-equipped to teach Hip Hop beyond its perceived entertainment purposes. Recognizing this gap, Professor Kashi Johnson, a pioneer of Hip Hop Theatre pedagogy, has spent the last decade investigating how Hip Hop can build bridges of understanding and create a safe space for actor training. This workshop will explore several Hip Hop Theatre inspired exercises, activities and performance practices with a focus on the creation of original work. Whether it’s reclaiming one’s identity through spoken word poetry, discovering movement through dance, or asserting one’s identity by writing and spittin’ an original rhyme, this workshop helps you to apply Hip Hop Theatre practices to your artistry.

Kashi Johnson, MFA, is Chair and Professor in the Department of Theatre at Lehigh University where she teaches acting courses and Hip-Hop theatre. In addition to facilitating workshops with the Black Acting Methods Studio, she is a director and actress. Johnson is a pioneer and innovator in Hip-Hop Theatre pedagogy. She has given talks about her cutting-edge Hip-Hop Theatre course ‘Act Like You Know,’ for TEDx and BlackademicsTV. She has also published on the topic in Black Acting Methods: Critical Approaches, and authored a chapter on her pedagogy in the recently released Routledge Companion to African American Theatre and Performance.

Hendricks Method Workshop

Friday, October 11, 2019 at 2:30 PM | Rowe 163

Instructors: Sharrell D. Luckett, PhD - University of Cincinnati; Rahbi Hines- Independent Artist; Jonathan M. Lassiter, PhD- Muhlenberg College; Kashi Johnson, MFA - Lehigh University.

Sign-up is limited. Notification about how to sign up will be sent out soon. 

The Hendricks Method is the primary methodology taught at the Black Acting Methods Studio. The method was identified and primarily developed by Sharrell D. Luckett. For years, Luckett studied the work of African American theatre director and teacher, Freddie Hendricks, and his success in training performers. Hendricks created full-length musicals and dramas with his acting students (often without a script). The Hendricks Method involves empowered authorship, musical sensibilities, spirituality, activism, ensemble building, reverence of Black culture, and originality. In the Studio, artistic partitions disappear. Actors are understood to be culturally specific, generative artists and share space in that way. In other words, actors are collaboratively working on creativity, voice, movement, and character all at once. While creating original work and opportunities, Hendricks Method trainees cultivate their “Hyper-Ego,” preparedness for healthy competition, focus, and mental health practices. Like many methods, the Hendricks Method is an invaluable practice to have in your actor toolbox, and can be used by diverse heritages.  The Hendricks Method involves empowered authorship, musical sensibilities, spirituality, activism, ensemble building, reverence of Black culture, and creation without a script. In addition to focusing on the breath, the body, confidence, mental health, and imagination, The Hendricks Method also:

  • …develops culturally grounded, and versatile actors who can work and create with or without scripts.

  • …is trans-medium, making it applicable to performance in theatre, television, and film.

  • …nurtures spiritual aspects of the creative process.

  • …assists actors in developing and applying psychological tools for cultural affirmation and resilience in the audition rooms and acting studios.

  • …encourages activist and social justice work in and with performance.

  • …values the complexities and challenges of what it means to be a working Black actor in America.

Black Psychology and Performance: Interactive Seminar

Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 5:30 PM | Robinson 109

Instructor: Jonathan M. Lassiter,  PhD- Muhlenberg College.

Sign-up is limited. Notification about how to sign up will be sent out soon. Participants will need to bring paper and pen/pencil.

Jonathan Mathias Lassiter, PhD, is a polymath who utilizes psychology, writing, and dance to help others heal and thrive. In addition to facilitating workshops and lectures on the intersections of artistry and Black Psychology with the Black Acting Methods Studio, his roles include licensed clinical health psychologist, professor, author, movement scientist, and highly sought-after public speaker. Dr. Lassiter is the award-winning co-editor (with Dr. Lourdes D. Follins) of Black LGBT Health in the United States: The Intersection of Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation. This book received the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association’s Achievement Award in 2017 and is the first and only text to focus solely on Black LGBT Americans’ health. He is currently at work on his first sole-authored book that will explore contemporary issues of race and mental health in the United States. In addition, Dr. Lassiter has published numerous articles in academic journals and lay publications, presented his choreographic work in prestigious showcases in New York City, and provided psychotherapy to clients in medical centers across the country. Dr. Lassiter is a professor of Psychology at Muhlenberg College and Visiting Assistant Professor of Medicine at University of California, San Francisco. 

NOTE: This seminar is for students who identify as Black or a person of color. Seminars are instructed from a Black psychological framework. We are working with marginalized groups and marginalize groups are often surveilled and rarely have space that centers them. Students having access to this safe space is important for their well-being and for them to be able to foster and sustain longevity in their careers as Black actors and actors of color. In addition, faculty or student observers are not allowed in this Interactive Seminar.


National Theatre Institute Information Session

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at 12 PM | Robinson 109

Information Session on NTI programs presented by Carrigan O’Brian, Program Representative & Teaching Artist. Come and learn about the wonderful opportunities available to theatre students. PIZZA provided!

With a singular schedule and an unmatched breadth of training, the National Theater Institute’s six semester-long programs offer students a springboard to the professional world at the two-time tony award-winning Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Founded in 1970, NTI’s credit-earning theater intensives—taught by industry professionals and master teachers—train actors, singers, directors, dancers, designers, playwrights and composers.

College of Arts + Architecture Career Expo

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 11 AM | Storrs Gallery

This event will include arts and design professionals who work in all five disciplines of the COA+A including Art, Music, Dance, Theatre, and Architecture. Students will have a valuable opportunity to mingle with these professionals and learn more about programs within these organizations where they can get more involved through volunteering, internships, part-time or full-time employment. A few of participating organizations include the Arts and Science Council, Charlotte Ballet, Little Diversified, McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Opera Carolina, and many more!

Showcases & Portfolio Review/Forums

Department of Theatre Portfolio Review

Friday, December 6, 2019 at 1 PM | Robinson 205

Any student who is interested in designing, assistant designing, or holding a major production role for a department production must attend in order to be considered.  All students currently enrolled in a section of THEA 4610, or wishing to receive credit next spring, must present a portfolio. In addition, any student who is interested in trying to develop a design or technical portfolio is highly encouraged to attend in order to observe, ask questions, and gain valuable insight into what makes a successful theatre portfolio. Faculty and Students are welcome to observe.

Musical Theatre Workshop Showcase

Thursday, December 12, 2019 at 2 PM | Rowe Recital Hall

This special showcase event features students in the Musical Theatre Workshop course and shows off their singing, acting and dancing skills in a range of repertoire from the Musical Theatre canon. Come and enjoy!

Performance and Design Capstone Showcase

Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 7 PM| Black Box Theater

Spring is UNCC Theatre Department Showcase time! The Showcase is a culminating project for students following our Performance and Design Concentration tracks. In traditional showcase structure, local talent agents and casting directors are invited to attend in order to scout our actors and designers as they perform and design scenes and pieces developed in the audition workshop course. This culminating experience exposes Theatre majors and minors to opportunities for employment in the acting and design fields.

Design Portfolio Forum


Spring is UNCC Theatre Department Portfolio Forum time! The Portfolio Forum is a culminating project for students following our Design/Tech Concentration track. Design students will present poster presentations of their design work at UNCC and engage in conversation with visitors. This culminating experience exposes Theatre majors to opportunities for employment in the performance design fields.


Student Trip to the Kennedy Center American College Region IV Theatre Festival  

February 4-8, 2020 | Spartanburg, SC

Four Department of Theatre majors will compete in the Irene Ryan Scholarship Auditions at the KCACTF event this year! Students will travel to Spartanburg, South Carolina for the Irene Ryan competition and stay to participate in a wide array of workshops, lectures, and performances.

Student Trip to the Southeastern Theatre Conference 

February 26 - March 1, 2020 | Knoxville, TN

Department of Theatre majors will travel to Louisville, Kentucky for the annual Southeastern Theatre Conference in order to participate in a wide array of workshops, lectures, performances and informational sessions on graduate programs in theatre.

Sign-up is limited and students must apply for a slot. Notification about how to sign up will be sent out in advance.


College of Arts + Architecture Distinguished Alumni Awards

Friday, March 13, 2020 at 11 AM | Anne R. Belk Theater

The 2020 Department of Theatre Distinguished Alumni awardee is TBD

The 2020 Department of Theatre Distinguished Alumni awardee will be announced in January 2020.


December Grads Celebration and Winter Holiday Party

Wednesday, December 4, 2019 at 6 PM | Black Box Theater

May Grads Celebration and End-of-Year Party

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at 6 PM | Black Box Theater

It’s time to party! Theatre students and faculty gather to celebrate the year and to honor our graduating seniors with special commendations (delivered by the faculty), dinner, dancing, and performances.

Theatre Passport Free ticket series

The PASSPORT Free Ticket Series offers UNC Charlotte Theatre majors the opportunity to attend a variety of professional theatre productions in Charlotte. Each semester we purchase tickets to wide variety of performances including plays, musicals, opera, children’s theater, and interdisciplinary/devised work. Participating students are encouraged to share their opinions about the shows with faculty and student colleagues.


UNC Charlotte Commedia Players

Under the artistic leadership of Assistant Professor of Physical Theatre, Carlos Cruz, Theater majors have the opportunity to audition for this special traveling performance company appearing each fall at the Carolina Renaissance Festival. Over the course of eight weekend, our student commedia troupe performs for thousands of visitors to the festival. For more information on auditioning for the UNC Charlotte Commedia Players, please contact Professor Cruz at CarlosCruz@uncc.edu.