Hank Stratton, head of acting and musical theatre at the School of Theatre, Film & Television, earned the Gerald J. Swanson Prize for Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Arizona.
This award recognizes excellence in undergraduate teaching. It was created through a gift from the Thomas R. Brown Foundation in honor of Gerald J. Swanson, professor emeritus of economics.
Stratton has taught at the school for nearly six years and served as artistic director of the Arizona Repertory Theatre since May 2019.
“I’m incredibly honored and humbled by this recognition,” said Stratton. “I am merely standing on the shoulders of my great mentors, and most certainly in the shadow of Dr. Swanson.
“My goal each day is to create an environment where discovery is possible. When I feel I have been able to assist an actor in finding their way to a character, or to a deeper understanding of themselves as an artist, that’s everything.”
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Stratton directed the current Arizona Repertory Theatre production of “Polaroid Stories.”
Based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses and drawing from a series of interviews conducted with unhoused youths, playwright Naomi Iizuka presents a series of vignettes interweaving classical archetypes with contemporary characters in a tale of young people pushed to society’s fringe.
Stratton will lead a post-show conversation on Nov. 4 with a representative from “Fostering Success,” the university program focused on building community on campus for students who have experienced the foster care system, housing insecurity or homelessness.
“A primary aim in programming this play was to shine a light on the various crises facing today’s youth. “Fostering Success” is an incredible campus resource that partners with community organizations, saving lives every day.”
Reagan Kennedy (BFA ’21, Musical Theatre) was recently cast in the 2022/23 North American tour of “Legally Blonde.”! Reagan joins the company as the Universal Swing and Assistant Dance Captain, touring major venues throughout the U.S. and Canada. She is also covering the lead role of Elle Woods.
She answered the question, “What makes Hank a good teacher?”
“Hank Stratton is what I would call a technician, a leader and, of course, a teacher. Hank’s skills, however, go far beyond teaching. Hank was a father when mine lived 2,000 miles away, a communicator to our generation and, of course, a skillful creative master. I do not know what I would have done in my career without the confidence he instilled in me. I thank Hank for his devotion and service to the upcoming creative generation and care for his craft. Without that passion I don’t think me or my peers would have made it through multiple difficult times.
“Here’s to Hank Stratton, a role model and leader.”
More About Hank
Stratton has compiled an impressive list of theater credits. He performed in “Hamlet” in Washington, D.C., with Tom Hulce, best known for playing Mozart in the movie “Amadeus.” He was also in “The Man Who Came to Dinner” on Broadway with Tony Award-winning Nathan Lane. Stratton returned to England to perform in “Love’s Labour’s Lost” at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of the legendary playwright.
Stratton has served as a guest artist for leading educational institutions around the country, including masterclasses at UCLA, University of Michigan, San Diego State University, Orange County School of the Arts, and The Professional School of the Arts.
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. Stratton 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 and is a founding Board member for The Foundation for a National AIDS Monument.
He is a graduate of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.