Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre
He is currently collaborating with a team of theater makers from Atlanta, New Orleans, and the Pioneer Valley and writing "White Mourning," a play about whiteness, parenting, and history. Mr. MacAdams has a B.A. in theater and anthropology from Yale University and an M.F.A. in theater directing from Yale University. He teaches a range of classes in acting, playwriting, directing, and theater for social change.
"Desire lines" sometimes refer to the unofficial and uncontrolled paths made by bodies that are finding their way. In this collaborative course, "desire lines" are an opening to create theatre and dance exploring our relationship to the environment during a time of uprising and pandemic. Students begin by creating writing and movement inspired by their living spaces. They then move outside, reading artistic/critical work, and creating movement and text pieces grounded in questions: how do our identities meet the worlds we move through? How do choreographies of protest movements redefine public space? How do we move and speak in relationship to water, soil, and sky? Throughout, we will explore land and memory, and how colonization has sought unsuccessfully to silence Indigenous histories of all our spaces. This course runs parallel with Desire Lines: Mapping Home in the Dancing Body. Culminating work(s) will emerge through collaboration and will be presented together. (keywords: Dance, theatre, theater, writing, environment)
Across the country - and around the world - theatre artists are partnering with organizers, activists, elders, young people, and visionaries of all kinds to envision and embody a more just world. Rejecting the belief that theatre can only happen on traditional stages, this work is made in farming towns, in parks, in Indigenous communities, and in places in between - and celebrates the ritualistic roots of theatre while helping to build the future by speaking it into being. Always vital, this work is particularly essential in revolutionary moments, as it can both inspire joy and be a place to practice the world that is possible. Through reading and creative practice, students in this course will study this vibrant art form and create original works of theatre and performance across the campus and in online spaces. Theatre experience is not required. (keywords: theater, social change, activism, community engagement)
Across the country - and around the world - theater artists are creating work with organizers, elders, young people, and those whose stories are rarely on stage but who form the living heart of communities. Rejecting the belief that theater can only happen on traditional stages, this work is made in farming towns, on city blocks, in indigenous communities, and in places in between - and celebrates the ritualistic roots of theatre while building the future through partnerships with movements for justice and healing. Through reading and creative practice, students in this course will study this vibrant art form and create original works of theatre across the campus and beyond, with members of your own communities and in places you call home. Theatre experience is not required.
This course is a hands-on, practical approach to directing guided by the belief that "directors learn to direct by directing." Our focus is on the collaboration between performer and director and on challenging outdated notions of power by bringing your full selves - in your complexity and with the fullness of your identities - to the embodied practice of directing. The pace will be rapid and the workload significant: every three classes, you will either present a piece that you have directed or perform in a work directed by your peers. Rehearsals will take place outside of class. During the first part of the course, our work will be largely devised and ensemble-created. The second part of the course will focus on text-driven work. Throughout, you will explore, take risks, experience the joys and challenges of collaboration, and work together to make vital work. Previous directing experience is not required.
What is presence on stage? And how does an actor manifest it? In this course, you'll explore acting through a hands-on, ensemble-based approach that is grounded in listening. The course begins with an exploration of the many stories that you carry, hear, and express through movement. We'll then move to language, developing skills of text analysis and character development - and read plays from a range of diverse playwrights whose work challenges the way we see and embody stories. Throughout this process, you'll explore how listening deeply helps foster ensemble - guided by the core belief that dynamic life on stage is found not within oneself but in relationship: to the text, to other performers, to the audience, and to the larger world.
In the course, students will explore the art of ensemble through the exploration of technical theatre - from the sculpting of stage space through lighting design to holding the rhythm of a play through the role of the stage manager. Learning will take place in the classroom, where you will read and discuss plays and historical texts, as well as in the theatre spaces, where you will create ensemble-based, creative projects that are inspired by your stories. The class will be bolstered by Div II and Div III students who are exploring theatrical design and production and who will visit the class to share their skills and stories, in support of your learning. It is designed as an introduction to the student-led, interdisciplinary nature of Hampshire theatre.
This course replicates the fast-paced, collaborative spirit of a theatre ensemble at the beginning of a rehearsal process. Over the course of the semester, we'll begin work on plays by visionary playwrights from a range of identities who are bringing unheard stories to the stage and who are illuminating and redefining contemporary theatre (Plays will be selected by both the instructor and by students. Readings in past classes have included the work of Dominique Morisseau, Sarah Kane, Anna Deavere Smith, the After Orlando plays, and many others). After reading the plays, you'll do both dramaturgical research and create ensemble projects, including creative writing, design responses, visual art, storytelling, and dialogue on questions of race and casting. The course is designed for students of all theatrical disciplines as well as students of other disciplines who are passionate about collaborative work. The goals are to broaden your repertoire of new plays and to dive headlong into the question: how do we begin?
In this multi-disciplinary theatre class, you will create original written and performance pieces that weave together moments from your time at Hampshire with moments from Hampshire's past, gleaned from archival research and interviews. At the heart of this process is the idea that a community is made up of both memory and embodied experience, and that one of the roles of theatre makers is to form a bridge between what is seen and what is unseen. To do this, you will write scenes and spoken word pieces, create original performance work, conduct interviews with alums and others, and read and see material from almost fifty years of Hampshire's past. The piece will be presented as a work-in-progress at the end of the semester, to explore and embody your experiences through the lens of the visionary, contradictory, inspired, and at-times explosive story of our school and the land it occupies.