SHSU Hosts Across the Footlights with Hillary Hart

Courtesy of Scott Treadway

Students of the Department of Theatre, Musical Theatre and the Department of Mass Communication’s public relations team, Priority One, will host the event “Across the Footlights.”

“Across the Footlights” will be a conversational event honoring the role of musical theater in America with featured guest, Hillary Hart.

Hart, current executive director of Houston’s nationally acclaimed theater company, Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS), has led an extensive career in serving the arts.

Only coming into her position at TUTS in 2017, she has previously served as general manager at the highly renowned Guthrie Theater, a $28 million non-profit regional theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She was also the managing director at the Flat Rock Playhouse in Flat Rock, North Carolina, as well as the general manager at Dallas Theatre Center.

Serving as resident stage and production manager for many theaters in New York, going on tours, lecturing at universities and being actively involved in many nationally notarized film organizations, Hart is most elated to open a dialogue with Sam Houston State University students about the art of theater.

“The youth and the student mentality is what makes our industry,” Hart said. “That constant questioning, that constant desire for exploration really forces us to hold the mirror up to ourselves and to society, and reveals to us that the youth should very well be a part of this conversation.”

Hart believes that musical theater’s role in America is vital because it brings into existence various artistic disciplines such as dancing, singing, acting and visual arts. This allows for diversity and the plurality of voices to communicate the human experience.

Though she wishes to articulate this to the masses who believe that such an art isn’t relatable to them because they aren’t artistically inclined, she hopes that at “Across the Footlights” she will be able to engage with the attendees no matter where they are in their journey.

“My hope is that it’s less about me talking at the people who attend and more about me talking with the people who attend,” Hart said. “These are opportunities that I didn’t have a lot of and I’m really hoping that it’s less about learning of my experience and more about what you want to know. I want to meet people where they are, and wherever you are in your journey in attending this event.”

“Across the Footlights” will occur on Friday, Oct. 11 in the Showcase Theatre. The event will start at 4 p.m., and is free and open to all students, faculty, staff and the general public.

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