Special Events & Opportunities


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. 


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.

WORKSHOPS, MASTER CLASSES, and Interactive Seminars

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.


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 Forums

Department of Theatre Portfolio review

TBA | 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.

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.

Performance and design capstone showcase

TBA | 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.


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.