The Drama Specialist: Alumnus Janielle Kastner Interviews Charley Helfert

Podcast interview of Charley Helfert conducted by one of his former SMU students – Janielle Kastner, a Dallas-based playwright, podcaster, and performer. She is a proud Meadows Theatre alumnus (Class of ‘13).

About Charley Helfert

Professor Emeritus of Theatre: Charles (Charley) Helfert, Associate Professor of Theatre in Meadows School of the Arts, earned a B.A. from St. Norbert College and both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He joined SMU’s theatre faculty in 1970.

In his early years at SMU, he taught in the Meadows School’s experimental arts program, which offered innovative children’s classes both on campus and in the community. He was co-creator of a television series that won an award for children’s programming at the Chicago Film Festival.

Helfert served as both associate dean of Meadows School of the Arts and chair of the Division of Theatre. He has coordinated undergraduate recruiting for theatre during most of his tenure at SMU, and he has seen more than 40,000 high school actors in auditions. He helped theatre majors connect as teaching artists to the Dallas community through a collaborative class with Big Thought, a nonprofit organization that brings the arts to young people.

He also taught classes on dramatic arts and creative dramatics within SMU’s General Education curriculum. Helfert has been honored with SMU’s “M” Award for outstanding service and the Meadows Foundation Distinguished Teaching Professorship. He retires as Professor Emeritus of Theatre.

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