Bethany College gives students the choice between a major in English education, a major in English, or a minor in English.
Through the English program, students master the skills of critical thinking and advanced writing techniques. Bethany also places heavy emphasis on community relations so students gain the skills necessary to be leaders in their fields as well as their communities.
Communication & Theatre
The mission of Bethany College Theatre and Communication is firmly rooted in the mission of the college: to challenge the students to perform the spoken word as a means of communication both clearly and artistically and to nurture in students a sense of confidence and responsibility in their communication art.
The purposes are:
- to create an environment in which students are nurtured and challenged to seek and acquire knowledge broadly in the disciplines of Theatre, Communication, and Performance Studies.
- to enable students to develop reading, writing, research, and critical thinking skills in those disciplines and beyond.
- to allow students to hone their talents as performers, designers, directors, playwrights, speakers and communicators.
- to enable students to understand the relationship between oral communication as performance and theatrical performance as communication.
Carl Isaacson, professor of communication, has been at Bethany College since 2004.
Isaacson teaches classes in public speaking, rhetoric, mass communication, argumentation and human communication. His fields of interest include Swedish Americana. He has served as educator/curator of the Swedish American Museum Center in Chicago, and his research has been published in the Chronicle of Higher Education and American Communication Journal.
For the 2006 Messiah Festival of the Arts, Isaacson translated, adapted and directed a student production of “Barabbas” based on Pär Lagerkvist’s 1950 novel of the same title.
Isaacson received his Ph.D. in theatre from the University of Minnesota, Minn. He also holds a M.Div. with a major in Parish Ministry from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, S.C.
Professor Riordan earned her bachelor of arts degree at Bethany College in English and music with a theatre minor and a master of arts degree in English at University of Texas at Arlington. She is currently ABD and finishing a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition at Texas Christian University.
Before joining Bethany College, she was an English instructor and general education chair at Salina Area Technical College. She was awarded Graduate Instructor of the Year in 2011 at TCU. She has presented papers at national conferences such as the Rhetoric Society of America and the Conference of College Composition and Communication.
Her interests include aural and multimodal rhetoric, composing with new media, theatre, film, gardening, nature walks, and music.
Lori Brack joined the Bethany faculty in August 2012. She is a graduate of Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., and of the University of Kansas.
Her poems and essays have been published online and in print journals including North American Review, Superstition Review, Packingtown Review, Another Chicago Magazine, and Mid-American Review. Her poems are included in two anthologies of Kansas poets, Begin Again (2011) and To the Stars Through Difficulties (2012). Her chapbook, A Fine Place to See the Sky, was written in collaboration with her grandfather’s 1907-1918 Kansas farming journal as a poetic script for a work of performance art by Ernesto Pujol. It was published in 2010 by The Field School, New York.
Before joining the Bethany faculty, Professor Hensel was an instructor at the University of Oregon. He received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas at Austin, his master’s degree at Baylor University and his PhD at the University of Oregon. He was awarded the Outstanding Composition Instructor in 2010 and has interests in Beowulf; monster studies and woodworking. He is married and has a son and daughter.
Assistant Professor of English Kristin Van Tassel teaches classes in writing and American literature.
Her essays and poetry have been published in Alternet, Counterpunch, Mamazine, Transitions Abroad, Relief and World Hum, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Her scholarly articles have appeared in American Studies, ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, and The Journal of Ecocriticism. Van Tassel has presented numerous papers at national literary conferences, including several for the Popular Culture and American Culture Conference and ASLE, the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment.
Van Tassel received her Ph.D. from the Department of English at the University of Kansas. She holds an M.A. from the Department of English at California State University and a B.A. from the Department of Writing and Literature at George Fox University.
Van Tassel coordinates the honors program and serves as chair on the Bethany College Curriculum Committee. She is professionally associated with the National Council of Teachers of English and Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment.
Greg LeGault is an associate professor of theatre at Bethany College. A member of the Bethany College faculty since 2000, LeGault is artistic director of Bethany College Theatre and teaches courses in acting, oral interpretation, playwriting, theatre history, set design, and directing. He is currently serving as chair of the English, Theatre and Communications Department.
His plays have been performed in a number of venues, including Strawdog Theatre in Chicago and the Orlando Fringe Festival. His full-length play “Masterpiece” was produced in the Southern Illinois University Playwrights’ Workshop. A one-act version of the play received the Christian M. Moe Playwriting Award for Best Short Play. “In the Wake,” co-written with Michael Speller, was a play lab selection at the 2009 Great Plains Theatre Conference in Omaha.
LeGault has over 25 years of experience in acting, directing and set design. He earned his M.F.A. in Playwriting from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, an M.A. in Theatre History and Criticism from Ohio University, Athens, and a B.A. in Theatre Arts with a Performance Emphasis from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.