Robert is a firm believer in the pedagogical value of studying theatre within a real-world production context, in addition to the more traditional liberal arts classroom approach to dramatic literature, theatre history, and dramaturgy. To this end, he believes that the rehearsal room and stage are natural extensions of the classroom experience.
In addition to his skills as an instructor of literature and writing, Robert has a diverse background as a professional director, playwright, dramaturg, and actor. He believes strongly in teaching theatre as a collaborative art form, with each discipline contributing to the overall interpretive impact of the performed text. Therefore, Robert feels as at home teaching directing and acting as he does teaching literature and history, as well as directing productions within a departmental performance season. He has a passion for working with college-aged students in performance and proudly counts many university productions among his best work as a director, on par with much of his professional work.
Central to Robert's academic interests is the study of classical works within a contemporary context, whether that be a comparative study of modern dramatic or film adaptations and their textual antecedents or the contemporary relevance of classic texts within a modern thematic context. His areas of expertise are Classical Greek drama and its contemporary adaptations, contemporary adaptations of Shakespeare (as well as the increasingly utilized trend of "modernizing" Shakespearean performance), and 20th/21st adaptations of Japanese Noh.
While his primary focus is the study of dramatic literature, history, and performance, Robert has extensive experience teaching multidisciplinary literature courses that incorporate fiction, prose, poetry, and film as a means of exploring thematically-rich topics such as the supernatural, dystopia, myth, violence, etc.