• 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

  • Presenter of talk The Virginia Program at Oxford Model for roundtable panel on global education at the South Atlantic Modern Languages Association, November 2018
  • Presenter of talk Jessica, the Other Other: examining the "Merchant of Venice" for Manhattan College's Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center's seminar on Venice and the Other,  January 2018
  • Presenter of talk A Tale of Two Noras for the Fife Davis Annual Jewish Book Fair in Richmond, VA,  November 2018
  • 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 Po'okela award winning The Comedy of Errors for the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival, Honolulu, HI, July 2017  

Other Interests

  • Cooking
  • Gardening
  • Traveling
  • Karaoke

Research Interests and potential topics for students

Acting, Directing, Dramatic Literature, Shakespeare studies.