College of Fine Arts taps Ohio educator as associate dean

contact: Sandra Hillring
| WMU News
Photo of Scott Irelan.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—An Ohio educator with a professional theatre background and an extensive record in scholarly publications has been selected as a member of Western Michigan University's fine arts leadership team.

Dr. Scott Irelan will join the University as associate dean of the College of Fine Arts, effective July 6. The northwest Ohio native currently serves as associate professor and chairperson of the Department of Theatre and Dance at Youngstown State University.

"Scott is a great addition to the administrative team," says Daniel G. Guyette, dean of WMU's fine arts college. "He brings experiences and talents that compliment the group while adding essential perspectives. I feel very confident that his leadership style and work ethic will inspire faculty and staff in the years to come."

Scott Irelan

Irelan earned a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University and spent two years touring as a professional actor before returning to BGSU to earn his master's degree in theatre arts. He earned a Ph.D. in theatre history, criticism, literature and performance studies from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. He is the recipient of the 2007 Robert A. Schanke Award from the Mid-America Theatre Conference.

"I am excited to be joining the College of Fine Arts," says Irelan. "I look forward to learning more about all of the exciting work both colleagues and students are engaged in at this time."

Irelan's most recent book, "Experiencing Theatre," co-authored with Dr. Anne Fletcher of SIU, was released earlier this month. The book shares the process of moving a play or musical from the page to the stage, whether in acting, directing, designing or outreach.

Irelan also is the author of "Enacting Nationhood," released by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in June 2014. The edited volume looks at notions of "North" and "South" from 1855-99 and how those were expressed in theatre, live performance and the lives of those engaged in both pursuits. Irelan coauthored a third book, "The Process of Dramaturgy," with SIU's Fletcher and Julie Felise Dubiner of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. That work was the first "how to" dramaturgy book in the marketplace when released by Focus Publishing in 2010.

Irelan’s work also has appeared in Modernism/Modernity, Shakespeare Bulletin, Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Theatre Annual, and Theatre History Studies, among others. He has taught and directed for many youth theatre projects, and also has an extensive background in dramaturgy and grant writing.

About the College of Fine Arts

With fully accredited programs in art, dance, music and theatre gathered into one academic unit, WMU's College of Fine Arts is the only such college in Michigan and one of only eight in the nation with similar credentials. The College of Fine Arts is a dynamic, artistic and educational community dedicated to offering a talented and diverse student body an exceptional education that is learner centered, discovery driven and globally engaged.

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