Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Ask the Professor: Stephen Crandall

Dylan Green

Stephen Crandall is a professor of theatre at the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities at West Texas A&M University. He is also the artistic director for TEXAS Outdoor Musical in Palo Duro Canyon. Crandall teaches courses in voice, acting, movement and stage combat.

Crandall started his college career at Amarillo College as a science major before deciding that his heart was somewhere else. He then pursued acting at WT, earning a bachelor’s degree and a master’s of fine arts from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

“In my early years of college, I was planning to go to medical school,” Crandall said. “But something was drawing me, and I was doing more shows, and I felt like I had an epiphany moment where I was like, ‘I don’t think I should be doing this.’ I tried to follow my instinct.”

Crandall has lived all over the country performing and teaching. But WT has a way of calling people back. Even across the country, Crandall felt it.

“I began teaching early in my career when I was an undergraduate student here at WT,” Crandall said. “For one year I was the Academy director at the Amarillo Little Theatre. Way back before it grew to the size it is now. But then I moved away and I went to graduate school. I took on teaching acting and voice and movement classes. And then a position here at WT opened up and I just felt like I needed to pursue that.”

Though Crandall has worked with many people in different professional capacities, he is still impressed by the talent right in the Panhandle.

“You end up where you’re supposed to,” Crandall said. “I’m fortunate to get to work with some pretty incredible actors. That just really solidifies that this is the right kind of world for me.”

Stephen Crandall sits in the Branding Iron Theatre in the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex. (Maddox Nite)

Crandall’s courses offered at WT vary between different mediums of stage performance.

“I teach a lot of courses in the performance area of the theatre program,” Crandall said. “All levels of acting for the most part. Acting one and two, and then more specific techniques like acting for Shakespeare, acting for film and television. And then also voice technique, movement technique, stage combat, and also script replay analysis.”

Crandall described his teaching style as explorative. With an emphasis on the actors, he is teaching to understand themselves in more detail.

“If I were to use one word for my teaching style, it would be ‘exploration’ as a kind of basis for everything I do in teaching and training,” Crandall said. “Acting is all about using your human instrument. Everything from your eyes to your breath and your emotion, mind, and soul. It is really an all-encompassing thing.”

Aside from teaching at WT, Crandall also runs TEXAS Outdoor Musical, which performs in the Palo Duro Canyon every summer.

“I took on TEXAS two years ago for the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation, which produces TEXAS, after being a department administrator for six years,” Crandall said. “So I kind of got rid of that challenging job and replaced it with an outlet for me artistically. I think committing to a community that has the arts real accessible is important. TEXAS promotes the story of the people who made this place a home, and so there is a lot for me in that, too.”

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About the Contributors
Maddox Nite
Maddox Nite, Multimedia Reporter
Hello! My name is Maddox Nite. I am freshman majoring in digital communication and media with a minor in creative writing from Amarillo, Texas. And after graduation I hope to move someplace new and write for a newspaper. I love books, video games, lifting, and performing in shows at the Amarillo Little Theatre. I am very proud and grateful to be the Campus News Multimedia Reporter at TPN this year, and I can’t wait for more years to come!
Dylan Green
Dylan Green, Graphic Designer
Hi, my name is Dylan Green! I’m a senior Graphic Design major, and have worked with The Prairie News since Spring 2023. My career goal is to do design work for the music industry or other arts-related fields. I enjoy collecting vinyl records, listening to music, and making art in my free time.

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