Curtain Up on Professor’s Plays and Pedagogy

Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Brad KorbesmeyerBrad Korbesmeyer teaches advanced playwriting in Lee Hall dance space because, he says, “Plays are not for the page; they’re for the stage.”

In his 22nd year at Oswego, Korbesmeyer is associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. But, this recipient of the President’s Advisor of the Year Award and Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching is drawn to interactions with students. That’s why he teaches one playwriting course a semester.

Korbesmeyer says Oswego creative writing students are prepared for the vicissitudes of arts careers, and he credits Leigh Allison Wilson, program director, and the faculty with ensuring that graduates have marketable skills.

“Still,” he says, “it takes a leap of faith. Writers don’t have that transitional internship or student teaching experience to ease them forward. But they have a sophisticated understanding of what’s important. They know a big paycheck alone will not give their lives meaning.”

Korbesmeyer says the program provides depth, through a progression of three genre-specific courses; breadth, through classes across all genres—recently including screenwriting—and community, through small classes and workshops. “We are one of a handful of undergraduate programs to bring all these strengths together,” he says.

Like other professors, Korbesmeyer models the writing life. Twain’s Last Chapter had a staged reading at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Conn., last year, and a play is “percolating” from his recent trip to Botswana.

“All successful artists integrate their work into the pattern of their lives,” Korbesmeyer says. “Art demands a tempo and a temple. When I show up at this time and in this place, I am reminded: I am a writer.”

Linda Loomis ’90 M’97

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