Kevin P. Kern
Teaching Area(s): Theatre
Title: Assistant Professor of Theatre
Courses Taught: Theatre
Finding My Passion
I was fortunate to have found my passion fairly early in life – 9th grade – and once I found it, I couldn’t imagine my life without it.
Favorite Part of My Job
My favorite part of my job is directing plays. I think it must be similar to what great chefs feel – starting with some raw ingredients and transforming them into something beautiful. And then, also like great chefs, you get to drink wine afterward!
Mount Union’s curriculum prepares students to be effective not only in their careers, but also in their everyday lives. Our Integrative Core is responsible for honing “life skills” like public speaking, problem solving, time management and small group communication. Regardless of how hard students study in their discipline, if they haven’t mastered these skills, they won’t be as effective in the real world.
Proudest Professional Accomplishment
I was a member of a group that created the Pensacola Shakespeare Theatre and I served as its first artistic director.
Keeping It Relevant
I believe that all course work should be relevant to students regardless of their intended career. My challenge is to help students who are majoring in academic fields other than theatre understand why the study of theatre should matter to them.
New Performing Arts Center
I’ve seen artists renderings of the new Performing Arts Center, and can hear the construction just on the other side of my office wall, so I’m becoming intimately familiar with that one. I’m certain that it will be my favorite building on campus.
I’ve never known a school that has so many double majors; many Mount Union students have paired theatre with another major to create some very interesting combinations. In fact, I have three students who are double majoring in theatre and Japanese - take that state schools!
Not Your Typical Research
My research does not entail publishing papers in academic journals, but rather it consists of creating theatre. In November of 2013, I am directing Oceans Apart, a play that I wrote based on the stories of Vietnam veteran and theatre director Michael J. Arndt. Staged in vignettes with accompanying songs by the Mount Union’s Concert choir, Oceans Apart tells the story of loved ones separated by war who strive to stay in contact through letters. I am also in the process of producing Shakespeare At The Castle, a summer Shakespeare performance at Glamorgan Castle featuring talent from Mount Union and the city of Alliance.
Regularly Taught Courses
Acting 1 and a foundations course entitled People, Society, and Theatre
B.A., Drama, California Lutheran University
M.F.A, Acting, Brandeis University
My challenge is to help students who are majoring in academic fields other than theatre understand why the study of theatre should matter to them.
- If You Could Teach Another Class
- I’d like to teach a course in political speechwriting. I’ve always been a bit of a political junkie plus I’m fascinated with the art of creating and delivering speeches.
- Favorite Quote or Motto
- “To love, or to have loved, that is enough; ask nothing further.” – Victor Hugo
- Surprising Fact About Yourself
- I used to do TV commercials, and silly ones at that. With a little digging you can see me in spots for Ping Golf, Little Caesars Pizza, Strohs Beer, Pillsbury and a few others.
- If You Weren’t a Professor
- If I wasn’t a professor, I would be a speechwriter for a political campaign, after which I would then become the elected official’s communications director. Clearly I’ve got this all figured out. Are you reading this Ed FitzGerald?
- Favorite Book
- My colleagues from the Department of Economics, Accounting and Business Administration won’t believe this because the book is so dense and full of financial jargon, but it’s Barbarians At The Gate, the true story of the 1988 buyout of RJR Nabisco. It’s got everything that good theatre has: greed, lust, deception, politics, hubris … and it’s all true!