James Brandon

James M. Brandon

Chairman and Professor of Theatre
I was drawn to theatre 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 M. Brandon


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

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

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


Faculty Service Award: January 2020, Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Region III

Distinguished Achievement Award for Scholarship, Pedagogy, and Performance: November 2017, National Communication Association, Theatre, Film, and New Multimedia Division

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


Performance and Professional Wrestling. Edited by Broderick
Chow, Eero Laine, and Claire Warden, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism (Spring 2019): 111-113.

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

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

The Ethos of Drama: Rhetorical Theory and Dramatic Worth, Robert L. King. Ecumenical Journal of Theatre and Performance, (Fall 2013): 79-80.

Protestant Education and the Fine Arts. In International Handbook of Protestant Education, New York: Springer (2012).

Anton Chekhov. 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 theatre 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 theatre 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 Theatre 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 at Hillsdale 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.