Blake Hackler, assistant professor of theatre in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholars Grant to conduct teaching and research in Bulgaria.
Hackler will be in residence at New Bulgarian University in Sofia from January through June 2015, where he will teach and direct theatre, focusing on physical acting techniques. He will also observe and work with the Sfumato Theatre Laboratory, an internationally recognized theatre based in Sofia that produces highly physical interpretations of classic plays.
“My research and performance interests explore the ongoing disembodiment of the ‘actor-in-training’ as a result of deepening reliance on technology,” said Hackler. “Eastern Bloc theatre-makers, both pre- and post-Glasnost, have constantly pushed the boundaries of what the physical body can and should be capable of representing. It will be invaluable to spend time training and observing both the students and actors of Bulgaria and learning from them.”
Hackler joined the Meadows School faculty in fall 2011 and teaches four courses, including acting for both sophomores and first-year graduate students; theatre games and improvisation for graduate students; and “Acting in Song” for students pursuing the new minor in musical theatre. He also holds a teaching appointment at Yale University.
As an actor, Hackler has appeared in productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in regional theatres throughout the country, working with such acclaimed directors as Michael Mayer, Scott Ellis, Alex Timbers and Mike Alfreds. In New York, he worked with theatres including Playwrights Horizons, York Theatre, The Ohio, and Roundabout, as well as creating the role of Moritz Stiefel in the original New York workshop of the Tony-award winning musical Spring Awakening.
In Dallas, he is a company member at the nationally recognized Undermain Theatre, and has also appeared at the Trinity Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theater Center, Second Thought Theatre and Theatre Three. Currently, he is the acting coach for comedian Lisa Lampanelli as she prepares her one-woman show, Skinny Bitch, for a Broadway run.
Hackler has taught at Roosevelt University, AMDA, the National Theatre Workshop for the Handicapped, and through the Kennedy Center as an Artist-in-Residence. He also has studied with the SITI Company and its artistic director Anne Bogart and is a member of AEA and AFTRA. He received his M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama.