What are your current research interests?
I continue to study the work of Bertolt Brecht, particularly practices onstage. In order to do that, I'm also studying the German language. Shakespeare staging is also an important part of my scholarship.
What types of outreach and engagement have you been involved with?
Over the years I've worked with the OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute lecturing on Shakespeare and presented essays on Shakespeare at the Blackfriars Conference in Staunton, Virginia. More recently, I've presented workshops on Bertolt Brecht to local high school theatre departments (including Lubbock High School) as well as conferences such as the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the Brecht Symposium at Oxford, and the Brecht Stanislavsky Conference in Prague. Parts of Brecht's work continue to be used by me when I direct for the School, and so I am sharing that work on a regular basis with the play-going public.
Why did you choose this field?
It started with a graduate seminar course I taught my first semester on three playwrights (Brecht, Samuel Beckett, and Harold Pinter) and blossomed from there. I've now taught the course on and off for 19 years and continue to update and improve it on a regular basis.
How do you define good teaching?
I believe that we must make constant connections between our field of study and the students' personal experience. It is also important to give time for reflection and to return to certain concepts over time. Ultimately, we are trying to create life-long learners. This can only happen if we inspire our students to seek further knowledge and skills based on the courses they take with us and to reinforce their learning through application and creativity.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
Having my book Engaging with Brecht: Making Theatre in the 21st Century accepted for publication by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.
How do you integrate research and outreach into teaching?
All of the research I do goes back into the classroom as practice and is shared in productions for the School of Theatre and Dance.
More about Bill Gelber
Dr. Bill Gelber is an Associate Professor of Theatre in the School of Theatre and Dance at Texas Tech University where he teaches acting, directing, theory, and period styles including Shakespeare and his contemporaries. He has a Ph.D. in Theatre History from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with Oscar Brockett. He has been published in the Brecht Yearbook as well as the Texas Theatre Journal and in Early Modern Literary Studies. His essay, "A Ha in Shakespeare" appears in Shakespeare Expressed: Page, Stage, and Classroom. His forthcoming book Engaging with Brecht: Making Theatre in the 21st Century is to be published by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama. He is a member of the Texas Tech Teaching Academy and an Integrated Scholar.