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John Jack Shea

Certified Teacher

Kilroy HeadJack Shea, Coordinator
Theatre Arts Program
Department of English
Westfield State University
577 Western Avenue
Westfield, MA 01086-1630
(413) 572-5333


Jack Shea is the Coordinator of the English department's Theatre Arts Program, which offers a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts. He teaches acting, directing, playwriting, script analysis and interpretation, and theatre management, and he directs many of the Program's theatrical productions.

Before joining the Westfield State faculty in 1997, Professor Shea was an Assistant Professor and Guest Artist in Residence for four years in the Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Memphis where he taught acting in its B.F.A. program and directing in its M.F.A. program.

During his time in Memphis, he also worked as an actor and director at Theatre Memphis. He taught as an Instructor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles prior to teaching at Memphis.

Professor Shea worked for many years as an actor and director in San Francisco and Los Angeles, appearing on stage and in film and television. He is a member of all three professional acting unions - Actors' Equity Association, the Screen Actors Guild, and the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (AFTRA).

He is a member of and trains regularly with the New York-based Michael Chekhov Association (MICHA), working with Mala Powers, Joanna Merlin, Lisa Dalton, Phelim McDermott, David Zinder, and Lenard Petit among others. In addition to holding two certifications as a teacher of the Chekhov acting technique, he also has extensive training and experience in the Stanislavski system of acting, having worked with Delia Salvi, Peggy Fuery, Salome Jens, Jean Shelton, and Harold Clurman among others.

He recently acted and directed for four years with the Becket Playwrights Festival in Becket, Massachusetts. Professor Shea earned a bachelor's degree in History from Stanford University (Phi Beta Kappa), and an M.A. in Critical Studies, an M.F.A. in Acting, and an M.F.A. in Directing from UCLA's School of Theatre, Film, and Television where he studied with George Schaefer, Michael Gordon, Michael McLain, Catherine Fitzmaurice, Delia Salvi, Edit Villareal, Rae Allen, and Frank Condon. His master or arts thesis was titled "The Realist and the Dreamer: The Duality of the Irish Character in Sean O'Casey's Dublin Trilogy." He is also a member of the Westfield State chapter of Phi Kappa Phi.