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Sample cover letter for Full Time position at North Central College


Theatre Professor

Dear Search Committee,

I respectfully submit my application materials for your visiting faculty position in Theatre. In the summer of 2013 I successfully defended my dissertation and, in turn, received my PhD. During my time as a student at ____ I was deeply involved with the intellectual and creative life of the department. Regarding the former, I was awarded the Dissertation Year Fellowship during my last year of study, a competitive award given annually to a student whose work the graduate faculty deems promising in terms of its contribution to the field. Additionally, I taught a number of courses and was active in the production program. In sum, in my time as a student at ____ I worked to prepare myself for the profession, focusing on honing my skills the classroom, as a scholar, and as a member of a research and creative community. In this letter I would like to briefly outline my teaching experience and philosophy, research interests and goals, and service contributions.

In terms of teaching, after completing my PhD, I obtained employment as an adjunct professor at Bowling Green State University, where I teach Introduction to Performance Studies. I am also currently serving as an adjunct professor at Defiance College, where I teach Composition 1: Writing the Self in Culture, and Composition 2: Writing the World. In the fall, I taught a Topics in Literature class at Defiance, based around an investigation of identity politics in Modernist and Post-Modernist dramatic literature. As our students’ world is becoming more and more digitally constituted, I take every opportunity I can to ensure that the structure and content knowledge of my classes embrace the digital. To this end, I use such online tools as backchannels, memes, polls, timelines, and tweetchats. I believe that a hybrid classroom is one of the greatest methods of achieving student-centered learning.

I have teaching expertise in all levels of acting, script analysis, performance studies, directing, dramatic literature, and theatre history. My work as a teacher/scholar/artist reveals firm foundations in and dedication to liberal arts education wherein I create a student-centered classroom with rigorous educational and creative goals. In terms of theatre training in particular, I feel an imperative to demonstrate theory and scholarship through practice. I treat the classroom as a laboratory in which to investigate collaboratively with my students how we make meaning and share knowledges through performance. I demand that students co-create the knowledge of the course as we engage together in thinking critically and discussing respectfully the nature of the truths we live by and work within in theatre and performance. As a class unit, we strive toward creating knowledges that seek a more socially just understanding of the world. Through this approach, my students emerge from my classes as ethically trained citizens of the world, ready to engage thoughtfully and respectfully with all the diverse peoples of our globe.

Though my experience directing is not as extensive as acting, I have sought out opportunities to hone those skills. To that end, when I am directing I treat the rehearsal space like my classroom as described above; I am always teaching actors. I actively seek out collaboration with my colleagues and students by regularly teaching acting classes and workshops. Additionally, I have obtained national certification outside my degree as a Certified Teacher of the Michael Chekhov Technique through the National Michael Chekhov Association.

My research at present is focused on reconsidering the tradition of the historical avant-garde by placing a microscope to the process of the legitimization and canonization of Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi. Through my conception of the “U-Effect” (short for Ubu-Effect and latching onto the citational power of Brecht’s “V-Effekt”), I argue that the construction of the historical avant-garde is based on a series of statements and social practices repeatedly enunciated in theatrical discourse. I have presented my research coming out of my dissertation at conferences (Mid-American Theatre Conference), where it has sparked useful conversations and, more importantly, interest from editors of journals. To that end, I am currently working on an article length project to broaden the scope of the “U-Effect” to imagine possibilities for revising the histories of other controversial performances/texts. Beyond my work on Ubu, I have presented at regional and national conferences on the Michael Chekhov Technique and ethnographic performance (Association for Theatre in Higher Education), and on the performance of effigies in response to LeBron James’s 2010 “Decision” (Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association). I plan on continuing this research on effigies in sports, considering in particular the use of number 42 to commemorate Jackie Robinson in the MLB and effigies of Lance Armstrong following the revelation of his doping.

In addition to my scholarship I have sought ways to contribute to the local, regional, and national communities of which I am a part. I am a reviewer for Praxis, the official journal of the Philadelphia Theatre Research Symposium. My service to the department and university includes my integral role in co-founding and leading the Graduate Student Theatre Organization at____, which creates opportunities for theatre graduate students to share research, practical skills, provide service to the department, and host scholars of national repute for professional development and networking. I have assisted undergraduate theatre organizations as an adjudicator and advisor for several of their works/programs. I have chaired panels for numerous academic conferences. I also professionally coach acting, movement, voice, and dialects, and have directed for numerous individuals and groups outside the classroom.

I thank you for your time and consideration. As requested, I have included my curriculum vitae, and three professional letters of reference in my application. Should you desire anything further of me, I can be reached at my phone number and email address listed on my CV. I look forward to hearing from you.

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