James Brandon

James Brandon

Chairman and Professor of Theatre and Dance
"I was drawn to theater because it was the one discipline that offered me the opportunity to combine my interests in literature, history, and the performing arts."
— James Brandon

Faculty Information

Additional Faculty Information for James Brandon


B.A., Eureka College, Theatre/Speech and History, 1994

M.A., Bowling Green State University, Theatre, 1995

Ph.D., Bowling Green State University, Theatre, 2000


Excellence in Teaching and Service Award, November 2009, National Communication Association, Theatre Division

Outstanding Young Alumni Award, October 2005, Eureka College, Alumni Board


Association for Theatre in Higher Education

National Communication Association


Book Review: “Chekhov for the 21st Century” Edited by Carol Apollonio and Angela Brintlinger”
Theatre Journal (October 2014): 492-494.

Book Review: “Daring to Play: A Brecht Companion by Manfred Wekwerth. Edited by Anthony Hozier. Translated by Rebecca Braun.”
Theatre Journal (December 2013): 618-619.

Book Review: “The Ethos of Drama: Rhetorical Theory and Dramatic Worth by Robert L. King”
Ecumenical Journal of Theatre and Performance (Fall2013): 79-80.


Book Chapter: “Protestant Education and the Fine Arts”

Chapter 35 of International Handbook of Protestant Education. New York: Springer, 2012.

Book Review: “Anton Chekhov by Rose Whyman”
Theatre Topics (September 2011): 214-215.

Encyclopedia Entries: “A Clockwork Orange”, “Battleship Potemkin”, “Bladerunner”, “Falling Down”, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”, “Goodfellas”, and “Iron Man”
Movies in American History: An Encyclopedia (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO 2011).


I was drawn to theater because it was the one discipline that offered me the opportunity to combine my interests in literature, history, and the performing arts.

I think that a well-educated theatre major needs to encounter the subject as a liberal art. Here at Hillsdale, our theater majors get a strong grounding in theatre history, literature, and criticism, and are also asked to engage with acting and directing, design and technology, playwriting, dramaturgy, and stage management. While they may choose to focus on one of these areas, they are expected to have experience with all of them before they graduate.

The purpose of higher education is to expose students to some of the great and enduring truths, and to give them the tools to study them for the rest of their lives. I teach at Hillsdale because we fulfill this purpose. I have tremendous colleagues throughout the college who make this an elite and purposeful institution of liberal arts education. This place has a tremendous academic atmosphere, and the arts are allowed to engage, and often challenge, the status quo.

The theater department in particular is committed to Hillsdale’s mission of the liberal arts and creates well-rounded, self-motivated, lifelong learners who emerge from the program ready for success in the field of theatre, or wherever else their professional lives take them.

I’ve been teaching here since 1998.

In my free time, I direct plays, act occasionally, read voraciously (plays, history, fantasy and science fiction), indulge my love of film (particularly Russian kino and Japanese anime), hike, and somehow try to figure out the schedules of my three kids.