A new member of the theater department comes from only a mile away

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After 11 years of teaching at another university, Dr Christopher Hollingsworth was hired as musical theater director.

The position of Musical Theater Director involves leading the cast, pit, choir and any other musical group involved in a production.

After searching around the country, the ACU Theater Department landed in Abilene. They chose to hire Hollingsworth for the position of musical theater director.

Hollingsworth has taught at four universities, bringing over 23 years of experience producing voice, opera and musical theater. Hollingsworth previously worked as an associate professor of voice and opera director at Hardin-Simmons University.

Despite this position, he said he felt called to become a musical theater director.

Hollingsworth’s first ACU production will be the musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”.

Dawne Swearingen Meeks, chair of the theater department, praised Hollingsworth.

“He has already been a tremendous asset to our department and we are delighted that the Lord has brought him to ACU,” said Swearingen Meeks.

Hollingsworth chose to restart his teaching career as an associate professor at ACU, taking a big risk after settling into his previous job.

“Part of our education takes the risk of failure,” Hollingsworth said. “We have to be free to explore and feel free to create, and with that, we have to risk our greatest success. ”

Hollingsworth wants his students to know that they can try anything they want and that failure is part of learning.

“He is not only a great teacher, but he is passionate about supporting and serving our students,” said Swearingen Meeks.

While living in Abilene, Hollingsworth always appreciated the integration of faith into the classroom. He said he felt great support to be able to incorporate his faith into his lessons. He felt the faith expressed by ACU students while giving private singing lessons before being hired.

This semester he is teaching contemporary commercial voice to first year theater students and will be teaching additional classes in the spring. Next semester he will co-teach the Musical Theater Conducting Class and Performance Lab with Swearingen Meeks.

“When God clearly says that you are meant to be somewhere, he clearly says so,” Hollingsworth said. “I feel at home here and look forward to the future.


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