Scott McKenna Campbell (Ph.D)

Composer/Lyricist: “Campbell’s…songs live and breathe what’s happening around Shakespeare’s characters.” –Warren Gerds, WeAreGreenbay.com

Actor-Musician…thoroughly engaging and always interesting” -Bob Ableman, The News Herald

Lecturer: “Professor Campbell is someone who obviously cares for his students. His teaching style is easy to follow and extremely engaging. This professor is the best instructor I’ve had over the course of all of my schooling” –Anonymous Undergraduate Award Nomination

Scott McKenna Campbell is a theatre artist, musician, researcher and educator. He earned his Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies from the University of Wisconsin- Madison English Department, where he teaches students in Shakespeare, dramatic literature, and written composition. He owns an MA in Arts & Creative Enterprise through the Bolz Center for Arts Administration within the UW-Madison School of Business, an M.Litt from Mary Baldwin University’s Shakespeare and Performance program and a BA in English from the College of Wooster

His research examines the materiality and performance of musical instruments in plays. He writes on contemporary and historical actor-musicianship as well as art at the convergence of folklore, song, and embodied performance. His dissertation examines traditional musical instruments on twentieth-century Irish stages with an eye towards creating more complete scholarship on folk instruments and more engaging productions of Irish dramatic texts.

As an actor, music director, composer, and director, Campbell seeks out classical script adaptations, new work development, devised theatre, and musical theatre experiments. His performance and production interests include heightened language plays, new adaptations of myth and epic, and actor-musician pieces. He has performed with professional theatre companies across the Midwest and East Coast and collaborated with International touring companies. Scott enjoys ongoing professional relationships with the Ohio Shakespeare Festival and Door Shakespeare.

He won the Lyman S.V. Judson & Ellen Mackechnie Judson Graduate Student Award in the Creative Arts in 2018. He was a UW-Madison Honored Instructor in Fall 2022. His full-length play Seven for a Secret was a finalist for the 2022 Wisconsin Wrights New Play Festival, and his music and lyric compositions have earned recognition from the Cleveland Critics Circle (2019) and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (2017) among others.

Campbell is the principal song writer and arranger for acoustic folk band The Rude Sea. When he is not writing music for theatre, he can be found playing traditional music from Ireland, Scotland, England and Scandinavia on various traditional instruments.

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