Hank Stratton, head of acting/musical theatre at the University of Arizona and the artistic director of the Arizona Repertory Theatre, has been named the director of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film and executive director of the Nebraska Repertory Theatre. He begins his appointment Aug. 1.
“I’m thrilled to have Hank become the next director of the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film,” said Andy Belser, dean of the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts. “Hank has executed a strong vision for enrollment growth at the national level. He still acts in Hollywood in television and film and is well connected internationally in industry. Hank intentionally moved into education because that is where his heart is. He understands the opportunity that we have for both theatre and emerging media arts to be national leaders.”
Stratton has been at the University of Arizona since 2016. He became head of acting/musical theatre and artistic director for the Arizona Repertory Theatre in 2019.
He has served as a guest artist for leading educational institutions around the country, including masterclasses at University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Michigan and San Diego State University.
Stratton is a graduate of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
“I am deeply honored and excited by this opportunity,” Stratton said. “I believe the Johnny Carson School and the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts are uniquely positioned to be one of the most innovative and powerful arts programs in the nation. I cannot wait to begin collaborating with faculty, staff and students as we envision the future together.”
He is a co-founding instructor for Five Days of Broadway, a performing arts summer intensive in partnership with the prestigious Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts. He also sits on the Board of Directors for The Professional Arts Education Center, a not-for-profit whose mission is to provide merit- and need-based scholarships in the performing arts. He is also a founding Board member for The Foundation for a National AIDS Monument.
He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Actors’ Equity Association, American Guild of Musical Artists, SAG-AFTRA, Musical Theatre Educators’ Alliance and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.
Stratton starred in the Broadway revival and television film adaptation of “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” opposite Nathan Lane. He appeared in the CBS drama “The Unit,” in addition to recurring roles on “Heroes” and “American Dreams.” His television work includes films for NBC, CBS, Hallmark and HBO, along with numerous guest appearances including “The Closer,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “ER” and “Frasier.”
He played Berowne in “Love’s Labour’s Lost” for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Complete Works Festival. Additionally, he starred in the national tours of the Tony Award-winning production of “Copenhagen,” the Sam Mendes/Rob Marshall collaboration of “Cabaret,” the off-Broadway hit “Jeffrey” and played the role of Henry Higgins in “My Fair Lady, Pulitzer in “Newsies” and King Marchand in “Victor/Victoria” for Moonlight Stage Productions.
His directing work for the Arizona Repertory Theatre includes “Polaroid Stories,” “High Fidelity,” “Spring Awakening” (Arizona Daily Star MAC Award), “The Cripple of Inishman,” “Doubt” (Arizona Daily Star MAC Award), and “A Streetcar Named Desire,” among others. He directed “the Laramie Project” for the University of Michigan and produced a concert benefit for the Matthew Shepard “Erase Hate” Foundation.
He was recently awarded the Gerald J. Swanson Prize for Teaching Excellence at the University of Arizona.
Stratton replaces Christina Kirk, who returned to the faculty in January.