Playwright and Professor Joseph Gallo Initiates New Theater Arts Program at Hudson County Community College
By Sally Deering
In September 2012, Hudson got a little more artsy when professional playwright Joe Gallo brought Hudson County Community College to a new stage – or rather, brought the stage to HCCC.
Gallo, whose plays have been performed in Hoboken, New York and other cities throughout the country, is a theater arts professor at HCCC who helped institute a new theater arts degree program. The new curriculum – which began in the 2012-2013 school year – is designed to provide students with a broad-based liberal arts education with core curriculum classes in theater that include Acting, Playwriting and Drama. Students who successfully complete the two-year program earn an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts – Theater, that prepares them to transfer to four-year colleges and universities where they can earn Bachelor of Arts degrees in theater and related programs.
A theater professional – he’s a producer and Associate Artist at Mile Square Theater in Hoboken – Gallo earned an MFA in playwriting from Ohio University and his plays have been produced Off-Broadway, at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and at other theaters throughout the country. Gallo has taught Playwriting, Acting and other theater-related courses at the School of Visual Arts, Drew University and Kean University.
Recently, Gallo spoke with Riverview Observer about how he initiated the new Theater Arts program and what prospective students can look forward to if they decide to enroll.
RVO: Joe, can you share with our readers how the new theater arts program began?
JG: In 2007 HCCC hired to teach creative writing and because I have an MFA in playwriting, I was asked to revamp its Introduction to Acting class. I did that for the college and when I asked why the college doesn’t offer more theater classes, I was told, ‘because we don’t have a theater.’
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