• Barger-Barclay Professor of Theater

    Johns Auditorium, 201
    (434) 223-6266

Shirley Kagan has taught theatre at Hampden-Sydney for over 20 years. Kagan is also an Associate Artist of Quill Theatre. Her most recent involvement with the group was acting as Gertrude in their summer festival production of Hamlet.


M.F.A., University of Hawaii at Manoa
B.A., Williams College

Teaching Interests

  • Directing and acting with particular interest in Beckett, Brecht, Pinter and Shakespeare. While at H-SC I have developed two courses that I particularly love: American History Through the Musical and The Theatre of Law. 
  • I also enjoy collaborative work with colleagues across the disciplines.

Committee Assignments & Service to the College

  • Kagan has served on many of the college committees most recently on the Academic Master Planning Committee and as Chair of the Department of Fine Arts. 
  • She is pleased to serve as the American Director of the Virginia Program at Oxford and as advisor to Alpha Psi Omega Dramatic Honors Society.

Most Recent Professional Activity

  • Actor in Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive Preview Screening: a WCVE Community Ideas Stations event at the Poe Museum, Richmond, VA.  October, 2017
  • Director of The Comedy of Errors for theHawaii Shakespeare Festival in Honolulu, July, 2017  
  • Chaired pedagogy roundtable and presented the papers How Acting Upends Intersectional Theory and Why that's a Good Thing and Oedipus: Detective at the South Atlantic Modern Languages Associations conference in Jacksonville, FL. November 2016  
  • Performed as Gertrude in Quill Theatre's production of Hamlet at Agecroft Hall in Richmond, VA, July, 2015.  The production was then filmed for WCVE Community Ideas Stations HD Television Studios with a premiere screening in Richmond's historic Byrd Theatre.

Other Interests

  • Cooking
  • Gardening
  • Traveling
  • Karaoke