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John J. O’Hagan
Teacher-Director-Actor

“[When] we have nothing to strive for, [when] we can do anything, know everything. That is when art dies.” - Nikolai Demidov

“A theatre is not only a literal place, but also a space where we dream together; not merely a building, but a space that is both imaginative and collective.” - Declan Donnellan

I offer a wide variety of classes and workshops for students and artists at every level of the work from beginner to seasoned veteran. Classes and workshops can be easily scaled to almost any group size and time frame. Click on the link to the left for a full menu!

 I offer single (or duo) individualised coaching sessions which can be used to prepare drama school auditions, self-tapes or just to keep your skill set sharp. 

 I’ve had the great fortune to work with some amazing people on wonderful and enriching projects. While galleries rarely capture the full spirit and impact of any particular project, each of these images serve as reminders of powerful and meaningful experiences . 

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Urinetown Program photo, Principia College 2018

 

I have been working in professional and academic theatre for nearly  30 years.

I hold an MFA in Theatre from the University of Idaho.

 

I have served as the Performing Arts Department Head at Lindenwood University, Professor of Theatre and the Creative Arts and Communications Division Director at Principia College, and as an Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of Wyoming

I have worked as an actor and director in the US, Ireland, the UK and Europe including two seasons as a member of the resident acting company at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I am a founding member of Bankside Repertory Theatre in Alton, IL. 

 

I have received several Certificates of Merit from the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival for my work as a director as well as one for fight direction. I received the Mayor's Arts Award for Excellence in Arts Education (Boise, ID), and was named Teacher of the Year at Principia College in 2017 and again at Lindenwood University in 2020.

 

Also in 2017 I was one of 12 artists selected from an international pool to participate in a week-long workshop with Cheek By Jowl’s internationally acclaimed co-artistic directors Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormorond at Jerwood Studios in London, UK. The work of this session helped Mr. Donnellan explore principles which informed his latest book The Actor and the Space.


I have a keen interest in Devised Theatre. I have been engaged in numerous devising projects including the creation and development of Hey Oh Kah/Hok Ah Hey with renowned mime and movement artist, Bill Bowers.

 

When leading Principia College  study abroad programmes to Ireland my students and I were able to work with representatives from the Abbey Theatre (Dublin) the Lyric Theatre (Belfast) and numerous freelance artists and actors from across Ireland. We created original, full-length productions based on their experiences while traveling across Ireland.

Most recently I conceived and co-directed Stories From Home for Principia College - a new devised work about immigration and migration and what we carry and what we leave behind. The student's work was brave, generous and beautiful. Jessica Hudson (playwright, co-director) and Rebecca Bailey (co-director) are two insanely talented collaborators. It has become one of the most rewarding creative processes I have been involved in to date. The final script is now available for production. Please contact me for information.

In 2022, I took advantage of holding dual Irish/American citizenship and relocated to the Naas in County Kildare, Ireland.

I now split my time between teaching in the States (Principia College/Lindenwood University) and as a free-lance artist working in Ireland, the UK, and Europe.

About

John J. O’Hagan

Testimonials

What some folks I've worked with have to say.

I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work alongside some of the most amazing individuals throughout my career. Their work has enriched my professional and personal life beyond measure. My students, colleagues, and co-creators have each brought a unique energy and enthusiasm to the classroom, studio, and stage - making every process a truly rewarding endeavour. My colleagues and students have helped me to forge a community that values respect, curiosity, teamwork, and mutual growth.  I am grateful for the diverse perspectives, talents, and friendships that have shaped my career, and I look forward to continuing this journey with these and other exceptional individuals. - JJO

"John O’Hagan is a remarkable teacher who undoubtedly leaves indelible marks on the lives of his students. His infectious passion, keen eye for talent, and unwavering dedication to our growth make him truly exceptional. I am eternally grateful for the years I spent under his guidance, and I continue to be amazed by his teachings and the impact he has had on my life."

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Riley Capp

"I feel some of the largest steps I’ve had on my journey in the theatre have come in the studio with John, and I don’t take the time I’ve spent working with him lightly."

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Francesca Mintowt-Czyz
https://www.francescamintowt.com/

"In the dynamic world of performing arts, John O'Hagan stands out as a visionary and compassionate leader. His ability to guide artists toward their full potential while fostering collaboration and respect is truly exceptional."

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