About Dr. Shawn Fisher
Shawn Fisher is an associate professor of theatre design and playwriting at Utah State University, where he heads the graduate program in theatre. He holds an MFA from Brandeis University. Fisher has been a designer, playwright, producer, director or craftsman on over 100 shows throughout the country. He is the founder and director of the National Playwrights Symposium at Cape May Stage where he hosts Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning Broadway playwrights as they mentor emerging artists. He is also the founding director of the Fusion Theatre Project, a non-traditional company that is based at USU and creates original works of social-themed theatre. Fisher is an Edgerton Foundation new American Play Award winner, a Stavis Playwriting Award nominee, a dDavid M. Cohen Award nominee and a national finalist for both the MetLife Nuestras Voces award an an Urban Stages Playwright Award. In 2012 he was selected as the Utah State University Creative Artist of the Year.
Through the Eyes of the Audience: A Theatre Artist’s Measure of Success
“When are you going to get a real job?” Every theatre student or young aspiring artist has hear this. yet, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the arts and entertainment industry makes up a whopping 4% of the entire gross domestic product of the United States. To put this in perspective, the entire federal government makes up 5%. This shows that people want–or perhaps need–to experience the world through someone else’s eyes, to feel something or possibly learn or understand something that is different than their own daily experiences. Since the first cave paintings and rhythmic drummings of long lost civilizations, people have gathered together to share in the emotional catharsis of art. Professor Shawn Fisher, playwright and theatre designer, will discuss the process and challenges of an art form that measures its success, not in dollars and cents, but in its ability to affect, enlighten or challenge an audience.