Class of 1981

Photo of Kris McDermott

Kris McDermott

Graduated with a degree in Theatre Arts & English; “Professor of English at Central Michigan University, teaching Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama. I’ve edited a collection of court dramas, Masques of Difference: Four Court Masques by Ben Jonson (Univ. of Manchester Press, 2007), and a picture book for young readers, William Shakespeare: His Life and Times (Templar/Candlewick, 2010).”

“When I began studying Shakespeare as a graduate student at UCLA, my all-around theatre background propelled me into using performance to teach the plays, both in the classroom and out of it in amateur productions. I always tell my students that Drama is the ideal college major – it teaches you project management, public speaking, text analysis, design principles, practical skills like sewing, carpentry, electrical, and painting – and you make friends that will last your entire life!”

“In 1980, we were visited by a touring company from the Royal Shakespeare Company. The time we spent with these amazing actors was one of the best moments of many in my four years as a Theatre Arts major. The group included Cheri Lunghi and Dame Judi Dench’s brother Jeffery. Matt Williams (‘81) was directing a student production of the Noel Coward play Hay Fever at the time, and the RSCers were kind enough to coach us on our very bad English accents – and not make fun of them! I was also one of the first theatre hockey ‘wenches’ and confess to being one of the actors present onstage for the infamous accidental ‘What the Butler Saw’ pantsing in Professor Oney’s memory.”