Award-Winning Playwright and Actor Visits HPU’s Department of Theatre and Dance

Jessica Dickey, an award-winning playwright and actor, visited HPU’s Theatre Master Class on Jan. 31. This was her third visit to the university.


HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 7, 2019 – High Point University theatre and dance students had a special guest in their Theatre Master Class on Jan. 31.

HPU theatre and dance students listened to Jessica Dickey, an award-winning playwright and actor, share stories of her early acting career to struggles with writing scripts.

Jessica Dickey is an award-winning playwright and actor most known for her play “The Amish Project,” which opened Off Broadway in New York City in 2010. Her current play, “The Convent” opened in New York City last month. This play was read by a group of HPU students last year, and their feedback helped shape the final version of the script.

Christine Watt is a junior theatre and English literature major and offered help to Dickey’s script. Watt said working with Dickey felt like her opinions are valued and respected.

“It’s very important as artists to recognize we are part of a larger community,” said Watt. “I think the professors here do an amazing job at making sure we have connections and getting us in contact with professionals. I’m very thankful for High Point University to have that available to us.”

Dickey shared real-world experiences with the students from her early acting career to struggles with writing scripts.

“I love the students. I love getting a chance to interact with them and talk frankly with them about the industry and the life-long journey of being an artist,” said Dickey. “Coming to HPU is fun and productive for me because it’s a lab space where I can work and hear the play that I have to do re-writes on.”

Dickey is among many well-known actors and playwrights who visit HPU to mentor students. Manley Pope, famous for his role in “Rent” and the television show “Blue Bloods,” will be visiting this semester. John Cariani, Broadway actor, visited HPU in fall 2018.

“The guest artists we bring into the Department of Theatre and Dance are very accessible and incredibly giving to our students,” said Douglas Brown, interim chair for the Department of Theatre and Dance. “Having theatre professionals come to HPU and work directly with the students is one of the Hallmarks of our department and has contributed to our ranking as one of the strongest BA theatre programs in the country.”

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