After 11 years of teaching at another university, Dr. Christopher Hollingsworth has been hired as the director of musical theatre.
The position of the director of musical theatre consists of leading the cast, pit, choir and any other musical group involved in a production.
After searching nationwide, the ACU theatre department landed right back in Abilene. They chose to hire Hollingsworth for the position of director of musical theatre.
Hollingsworth has taught at four universities, bringing over 23 years of experience in voice and opera production and musical theatre performance. Hollingsworth previously worked as an associate professor of voice and director of opera at Hardin-Simmons University.
Despite this position, he said he felt called towards being a director of musical theatre.
Hollingsworth’s first ACU production will be the homecoming musical, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
Dawne Swearingen Meeks, chair of the theatre department, spoke highly of Hollingsworth.
“He has been a huge asset to our department already and we are delighted that the Lord brought him to ACU,” Swearingen Meeks said.
Hollingsworth chose to begin his teaching career over again as an associate professor at ACU, taking a big risk after settling in at his previous job.
“Part of our education is taking the risk of failure,” Hollingsworth said. “We need to be free to explore and feel free to create, and with that comes taking the risk, to our greater success.”
Hollingsworth wants his students to know they can try anything they want to do, and that failure is a part of learning.
“He is not only an excellent teacher but has the heart to support and serve our students,” Swearingen Meeks said.
While living in Abilene, Hollingsworth has always been appreciative of the integration of faith into the classroom. He said he feels a great sense of support for being able to incorporate his faith into his lessons. He felt the faith expressed through ACU students while teaching private vocal lessons before being hired.
This semester, he is teaching freshman theatre majors contemporary commercial voice and will be teaching more classes in the spring. Next semester, he will be co-teaching the Musical Theatre Directing Class and Performance Lab with Swearingen Meeks.
“When God makes it clear that you’re supposed to be somewhere he makes it clear,” Hollingsworth said. “I feel at home here and I’m looking forward to the future.”