The Department of Theatre and Film has found itself a new “Fearless Leader” to lead the charge. Through June 2011, Stephen Heatley will be taking on the role of interim Department Head while Jerry Wasserman is on administrative leave.
Stephen Heatley graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Drama and English from Brock University and a MFA in Directing for Theatre from the University of Alberta. Prior to joining the Department of Theatre and Film at UBC in 1999, Heatley worked as a professional theatre artist for over 35 years, specializing in directing for theatre. He spent 12 years as Artistic Director of Edmonton’s acclaimed Theatre Network, where he directed 30 world premieres. He also spent five years as Associate Artistic Director of the Citadel Theatre, and five years as resident director of the Free Will Players.
During his leave, Jerry Wasserman will be working on his 5th edition of Modern Canadian Plays, continuing his research on the 19th century performance troupe Captain McDonald’s Indians, performing in a play at one of Vancouver’s major theatres, and enjoying his travels in Southeast Asia.
While at the helm of the department, some of the projects which Heatley will embark on include the creation of the teaching and class schedule for the 2011-12 academic year, including the allocation of budgetary resources. He will also be looking at some new initiatives in fundraising and the creation of a couple of new scholarships within the department.
“This is an exciting development and I am energized by these possibilities,” said Heatley of the projects he will be overseeing.
“[I am feeling] well-supported by my colleagues, a little breathless on the learning curve that I have already been launched on, and somewhat elated at being able to lead such an august department involved in so many interesting and provocative pursuits,” said Heatley on how he felt stepping into this position.
When asked about his newfound mantle of “Fearless Leader”, Heatley responded with pragmatism, candor, and a splash of wit.
“I think “Fearless” may be a slight exaggeration – anything new comes with a certain amount of trepidation. What keeps me in perspective is that it is a 6 month appointment and I am certain it would take longer than that for me to do any permanent damage!”
Written by Mary Leong
Article published January 26, 2011