For Dr. Robert Hubbard, theater is not just his profession; it is his passion. His theater expertise and dedication to his students have made him a valuable member of NW’s staff.
Before arriving at NW, Hubbard did extensive work as an actor, playwright, director and theater academic. One of Hubbard’s highlights includes directing an award-winning production of The Comedy of Errors.
Hubbard began his teaching career at Calvin College and earned tenure there. However, Hubbard applied for a teaching job at NW after he and his wife felt the need to move closer to extended family. Hubbard felt called to seek a position at NW because he wanted to bring a valuable theater experience to a small community.
“You should not have to drive to a large city to see great theater,” Hubbard said. “At least part of my calling is to produce high quality theater for rural, under-served audiences.”
When Hubbard recently took on the role of the chair of the theatre department, he accepted plenty of responsibilities. Along with teaching first-year seminar and courses in the theatre major, Hubbard is also in charge of managing department resources, developing course rotations and revising the theatre curriculum. However, one of Hubbard’s favorite roles is directing plays involving NW students.
“About once a year, I get to direct a play in the theater season, which is time consuming but wonderful,” Hubbard said. “NW students are the best; I love to work beside them.”
Although Hubbard has plenty of roles to fulfill at NW, he enjoys being challenged and loves every minute of his job.
“Life as a theater professor can be pretty busy,” Hubbard said. “Hours are long and involve a lot of night work. This said, challenges are good things if you love what you are doing.”
Hubbard also has just as much of a passion for watching his students grow as he does for theater itself, and he takes great pride in connecting theater to Christian faith. Hubbard cares deeply for his students, and he puts a lot of effort into getting to know them.
“He is a very caring person, and he is always trying to be involved with his students,” junior Travis Grover said. “We would have many times in class where we would talk about our faith, and we would get into deep discussions on what we believe as Christians.”
He pushes his students to be the best version of themselves and to value hard work as both a director and professor.
“Dr. Hubbard showed me that college takes some work to get good grades, and I do not think I would be as far as I am in my major without him,” Grover said. “I would not know how hard I had to work to get good grades without him.”
Hubbard finds great joy in sharing his love for theater with his students. However, one thing that he wants every student to take away from his classes is that they are all God’s children. Everyone plays a critical role his kingdom.
“Actors, designers, technicians and ushers are all important parts of Christ’s body,” Hubbard said. “Theater takes so many different gifts and abilities to happen.”