Jeffrey M. Cordell
Education: Ph.D. (ABD) in Theatre History & Performance Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 2008; Master of Arts in Theatre History and Performance Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 2006; Bachelor of Arts in English and Theatre, Marietta College, 2000
Research Interests: 20th & 21st Century Drama (esp. Tennessee Williams); Queer Theory & Queer Theatre; Artistic Leadership (Directors, Artistic Directors, Charge Artists); Classical Theatre (Ancient Greece & Rome, the Continental Renaissance); Solo Performance & Devised Theatre
Recent Publications: “Defense of Marriage” – an original one-act play produced by the 2013 Pittsburgh Pride Theatre Festival and revised to respond to the landmark Supreme Court decisions on gay marriage; first director and founding member of the D.C. Actors Salon (an Equity-level staged reading project in Washington D.C.) in October 2009: Philip Barry’s Holiday.
Courses (Fall 2014): Introduction to Dramatic Literature, Theatre History I
Courses (Spring 2015): Acting 2 (Stanislavski & Realism), Dramatic Literature
Phone: (740) 376-4691
What can a student expect when taking one of your classes?
Students can expect for me to push them to develop their own criteria as artists and scholars. They can expect me to present texts, debatable questions, and art from the field of study which give them starting points and options for their own critical thinking. Whether acting, directing, drama, or history, my courses have at their core the following questions: What information is valuable for your work in terms of format, style, and structure? And why? What art forms, artistic elements, and craft/practices stimulate and move us the most? And why? Whether reading plays, attending arts events, engaging with history, or engaging in the practice of making art inside the parameters of a course, students should expect to develop their own meaningful relationship to the work. A course of study means more than checking a box to satisfy a requirement.
What excites you about teaching at Marietta College?
At Marietta College, we have terrific teaching and learning resources supporting us — our students, our colleagues, our library, our community, our staff. Because of these resources, we are a rigorous but flexible campus built for upholding a strong liberal arts tradition while embracing the changes of the 21st century. That is exciting to feel every day as a teacher.
When you aren’t teaching, what other activities do you enjoy?
Cooking, reading for pleasure (novels, magazines, poetry, plays), attending live performances (music, dance, opera, and certainly theatre), antique store browsing, and I’m a big fan of a good nap.
Do you prefer flipping through the pages of a book or an e-book?
I prefer reading an actual book as published. I love page layout and cover design. I love the feeling of ink on paper and actually turning a page. Reading on a screen can make me “zone out” and it frequently hurts my eyes. However, I often wish I could be an e-book reader as the world is so full of easy access, anytime content! It is amazing to have seen that shift in my lifetime, but my personal library is my most meaningful possession.
What is your favorite location on campus and why?
The portico of brick arches surrounding Hermann Fine Arts Center. I have had some of the most important conversations of my life there — as a student, as a teacher, as an artist, as a friend and colleague.
What is your favorite Marietta College event?
Beyond our live, public theatre performances in the department, my favorite event is the Christmas with the Concert Choir concert at the Basilica of St. Mary. I love the feeling of community, hearing the quality of our student singers joined by a symphony orchestra, and also the full immersion in the spirit of the season.