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Assistant Professor of Theater Arts (2008)
Office: Arena Theater, HUB
Playwriting; directing; set design; performance techniques; musical theatre writing; script adaptation; nonprofit management; theatre and community; Eastern European theatre styles; Greek drama & mythology; Theatre of Cruelty; new play development.
Christopher Shorr directs the Theatre Program on campus and is the Artistic Director of the Moravian College Theatre Company. In the English Department, he teaches Public Speaking, Art of Theatre and Playwriting.
He moved to Bethlehem from Petersburg, Virginia, where he was the founding artistic director of Sycamore Rouge—a professional, non-equity theatre and arts center. While in Virginia, he served as a panelist for the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and on the boards of the Southside Virginia Council for the Arts and the Petersburg Arts Council. In Pennsylvania, in addition to his work at Moravian College, he is an Ensemble Associate with Touchstone Theatre.
Primarily a stage director, designer and playwright, Shorr has also worked as an actor and composer for theatre. His work has been seen Off Broadway in New York, regionally in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, and internationally in Romania and the Czech Republic. Through his work, he strives to prevent audiences, students, collaborators, and himself from succumbing to complacency. He is particularly interested in creating new theatre pieces and in aggressively re-working classic texts. He holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Drew University, and an MFA in Stage Directing from Virginia Commonwealth University.
As a director, recent Pennsylvania productions include the world premieres of The Pan Show: A Cautionary Tale and The Pan Show: In Pan We Trust (Touchstone Theatre), the world premiere of the jazz opera The Real Book of Gig (Moravian College), East Coast professional premiere of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, and the world premieres of The Whitman Piece and A Resting Place (Touchstone/Moravian co-productions), as well as Oedipus, Transdition, Betty’s Summer Vacation, The Clean House and the world premiere of his own Faust in France (Moravian College).
As a playwright, his documentary play Tribute: 9/11 (commissioned in 2002 by the AmeriCulture Arts Festival to mark the first anniversary of 9/11) was revived for the tenth anniversary and performed at Moravian College and at the University of Baltimore. Rina, his two-person, one-act re-working of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters was produced at New York’s “Chekhov Now Festival.” His play Clytemnestra’s Daughters, a reimagining of the Greek tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, was workshopped at the Southampton Writers Conference, prior to a reading at Touchstone Theatre. Faust in France, his adaptation of Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, was produced in 2012 at Moravian, and then workshopped in residence at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre on Cape Cod. Along with James Jordan, Shorr co-wrote the musicals The Pan Show: A Cautionary Tale, and The Pan Show: In Pan We Trust both of which were produced at Touchstone Theatre and named “best original play of the year” by the Bethlehem Press. Most recently, Shorr co-wrote (along with James Jordan) a musical adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey called Ulysses Dreams.
"Theatre brings together the resources of many parties to create a single work that, in turn, brings a community together in a collective experience. In a college environment, this sort of collaboration can involve students and/or faculty coming together from different departments, and can be incredibly rewarding—adding texture, depth and new perspectives to their academic work. I want theatre at Moravian to build bridges. It should bridge the gap between different segments of our campus community, and between the college and the wider community of Bethlehem. It should also test boundaries. It should raise questions, stimulate discussion, and challenge preconceptions. Through it all, theatre at a liberal arts college needs to focus on the growth and development of the student participant. Our work should take our audiences and our artists on a journey that enriches them.”