Previously published in the 2018 Ouachitonian yearbook.
After 33 years of teaching theatre, directing recitals and being involved with the campus community, Dr. Scott Holsclaw, chair of Ouachita’s Division of Applied Arts and professor of theatre arts, retired at 65 years old.
“It feels like the right time,” Holsclaw said. “As a theatre professor over the years, I realized—and I realized this years ago when I saw other people who were theatre professors, when they got a certain age—trying to keep the pace that it takes to do theatre and direct shows and be here late at night and work with students on that kind of pace is very time consuming. It also takes a lot of energy.”
Holsclaw retired at the end of the semester but continued a project he had been working on for five years—an exchange with Liverpool Hope University students in its department of drama and dance.
Along with the project, Holsclaw also enjoyed teaching classes one last time. He had taught every class in theatre over the course of his time at Ouachita.
“Directing is probably my favorite class because over the years that’s really become more of my expertise,” said Holsclaw.
This was a senior capstone course. Students in this class directed the plays at the One-Act Play Festival, which was popular on campus.
“It’s very rewarding to see the students go from not ever directing something, to seeing their baby put out there on stage for others to enjoy,” said Holsclaw.
Holsclaw got his degree in speech and theatre education and taught high school for five years. Then, after attending seminary and working in a church for a few years, Holsclaw decided to go back to school. He came to Ouachita and then finished his doctorate in theatre education at New York University.
“It’s a passion of mine that I’ve had my whole life. It’s been very important to me, and I’ve loved it,” Holsclaw said, “Ouachita’s given me an opportunity to do what I love in a setting that is very important to me in terms of the Christian setting. It meets me in all different places.”
Holsclaw enjoyed the many ways to get involved on campus and was proud of how committed it was to community and education.
“My prayer for Ouachita is that it will continue its balanced approach to education with academic and Christian excellence,” Holsclaw said, “And it will be focused on the fact that we’re trying to help young people become citizens of the world.”
By Victoria Anderson
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