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Professor Emeritus

James Hawkins, MA

(Professor Emeritus)

A. James Hawkins
Children Theatre Endowment

JAMES HAWKINS (Emeritus) retired from CWU in 2001 after 31 years of distinguished service to the Theatre Arts Department, where he founded the Children's Theatre Touring program and Youth Drama Major. An accomplished theatrical designer and puppeteer, Hawkins has been a guest artist at academic and professional theatres here and abroad including the California Theatre Center, the Tennessee Arts Academy, the Alaskan Theatre for Youth, the Birmingham Arts Center, and the Puppet Center in London. He has won three meritorious awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and, in 1996, was awarded the Distinguished Professor Award in Public Service from CWU. He has been a member of the performing company of Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center-National Puppetry Conference, and  a member of the Board of Directors of UNIMA-USA the International Puppetry Association. Puppets from his private collection have been added to permanent displays at the Atlanta Puppet Center, the Seattle Puppet Center and the Valentinetti Puppet Museum in Bremerton. In 2005 he established the A. James Hawkins Children's Theatre Endowment with the announcement of generous financial contribution, and has pledged to match the first $5,000 in contributions to this scholarship fund. Hawkins returned to CWU to share his talents on and off stage, in the classroom teaching Puppetry, and as the puppet and costume designer for Pecos Bill and the Ghost Stampede.


Photograph of Professor Wesley Van Tassel.

Wesley Van Tassel, Ph.D.

(Professor Emeritus)

(509) 963-2020

McConnell Hall, Room #105


WESLEY VAN TASSEL (Professor Emeritus) teaches acting playwriting and Shakepseare classes part time. Prior to coming to Central in 1991, he headed five theatres in the mid-west and served as chair of two college theatre departments. He has directed more than 100 productions, many with stage and screen stars. Dr. Van Tassel received his B.S. at Minnesota State University in Moorhead, his MA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his PhD from the University of Denver. He has directed many CWU productions including The Comedy of Errors, The Merchant of Venice, The Grapes of Wrath, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Dracula and wrote and directed an original musical adaptation of The Tortoise and the Hare. His book, Clues to Acting Shakespeare, published by Allworth Press (2nd edition fall 2006), is a widely used acting text at numerous universities and training studios. He published an article in VASTA Journal, which is the publication of the professional voice trainers of America, and is a featured speaker in the Washington State Commission for the Humanities' "Inquiring Minds" series. Van Tassel was named Phi Kappa Phi Scholar of the Year for 2001-2002. Van Tassel, and wife Dude Hatten, have recently moved to the country, where he enjoys writing new plays.