the new school's school of drama announces appointment of cara hagan to faculty

Cara Hagan, photo by Zoe Litaker
May 4, 2022, New York - The School of Drama at The New School’s College of Performing Arts announced today that Cara Hagan has been appointed as Associate Professor of Contemporary Theater and Performance (CTP) and Program Director of the MFA CTP program and will begin July 1.

As a member of the School of Drama leadership team, Hagan will develop, implement, and provide support for curricula, policies, student recruitment, and faculty professional development for the MFA CTP program, as well as be engaged broadly in the life of our larger university: The New School. In this role, Hagan will actively maintain a community of creative artists who work collaboratively within the College of Performing Arts towards the development of shared projects and initiatives. 

The MFA in Contemporary Theater and Performance, which launched in 2021, takes a modern approach to conservatory training by preparing students to transform their field and expand the role of the artist in society today. The MFA curriculum is rooted in the understanding that artists learn by making and by doing and prepares students to work in multiple contexts, genres, and disciplines.

“Cara Hagan is a perfect match for the vision and design of not only our new MFA in Contemporary Theater and Performance, but the radical aspirations of the College of Performing Arts overall. I have no doubt that Cara will teach us all, bringing a wide field of vision and multi-dimensional practice in arts and education,” said Richard Kessler, Executive Dean for the College of Performing Arts.

"I'm thrilled to be joining a program where I can lean into my interdisciplinary work in the world, in the educational sphere,” said Hagan. “It is exciting to know that there are spaces committed to 'unsiloing' so that artists who are seeking support in making work that reflects a multifaceted world can find affirming community. I am looking forward to working with the dynamic faculty at The New School, and getting to know the students who choose to further their education in the contemporary theatre and performance MFA."

Cara Hagan is a mover, maker, writer, curator, champion of just communities, and a dreamer. She believes in the power of art to upend the laws of time and physics, a necessary occurrence in pursuit of liberation. In her work, no object or outcome is sacred; but the ritual to get there is. Hagan’s adventures take place as live performance, on screen, as installation, on the page, and in collaboration with others in a multitude of contexts.

In recent years, Hagan and her work have traveled to such gatherings as the Performática Festival in Cholula, Mexico, the Conference on Geopoetics in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Loikka Dance Film Festival in Helsinki, Finland, the Taos Poetry Festival in Taos, New Mexico, and to the Dance on Camera Festival in New York City. Extended artistic residencies have taken place at Thirak India in Jaipur, India, Playa Summer Lake in the dynamic outback of Oregon, Roehampton University in London, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the University of North Carolina, School of the Arts. Most recently, Hagan had the pleasure to be in residence at Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, NC in June and July of 2021 where her interdisciplinary project, Essential Parts: A Guide to Moving through Crisis and Unbridled Joy is installed until summer 2022.

Cara is grateful to have received financial support from various organizations and institutions to continue her work. Recent support has included the National Center for Choreography at the University of Akron where she was named the inaugural Community Commissioning Residency Artist for the 2020/2021 season. Past support has come from the Dance Films Association, the Filmed in NC Fund, the North Carolina Arts Council, the Forsyth County Arts Council, the Appalachian State University Research Council, the Watauga County Arts Council, and Betty’s Daughter Arts.

Since becoming a parent and navigating a global pandemic, Hagan’s work takes place a bit closer to home these days. Hagan is editor and contributor for the anthology, Practicing Yoga as Resistance: Voices of Color in Search of Freedom, and author of the book, Screendance from Film to Festival: Celebration and Curatorial Practice. More of her written work can be found in Dance Magazine, the Journal of Sustainability Education, Snapdragon Journal of Art and Healing, the Journal of Dance Education, and the International Journal of Screendance.

Hagan will be in residence at the American Tap Dance Foundation in the fall of 2022, working toward the creation of a new short film.

The School of Drama is the creative home to a dynamic group of actors, directors, writers, creative technologists, and multi-disciplinary theater artists. With a focus on authenticity of expression, the school’s curriculum confronts today's most pressing societal issues through the making of theater, film, and emerging media. The School of Drama’s faculty is made up of award-winning actors, playwrights, and directors who bring a currency of professional experience, artistic training, and project-based learning into the classroom. The multidisciplinary MFA and BFA degree programs bring together rigor, creativity, and collaborative learning to create work marked by professionalism, imagination, and civic awareness. The school takes inspiration from the greats who walked its halls in the past, including Marlon Brando, Harry Belafonte, and Vinette Carrol, as well as more recent graduates, like Adrienne C. Moore, Jordan E. Cooper, and Jason Kim.

The College of Performing Arts at The New School (CoPA) was formed in 2015 and draws together the iconic Mannes School of Music, the legendary School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, and the ground-breaking School of Drama. With each school contributing its unique culture of creative excellence, the College of Performing Arts is a hub for cross-disciplinary collaboration, bold experimentation, innovative education, and world-class performances.

The over 1,100 students at CoPA are actors, performers, writers, improvisers, creative technologists, entrepreneurs, composers, arts managers, and multidisciplinary artists who believe in the transformative power of the arts for all people. Students and faculty at CoPA collaborate with colleagues across The New School in a wide array of disciplines, from the visual arts and fashion design, to the social sciences, public policy, advocacy, and more. 

The curriculum at CoPA is dynamic, inclusive, and responsive to the changing arts and culture landscape. New degrees and coursework, like the new graduate degrees for Performer-Composers and Artist Entrepreneurs are designed to challenge highly skilled artists to experiment, innovate, and engage with the past, present, and future of their artforms. New York City’s Greenwich Village provides the backdrop for the College of Performing Arts, which is housed at Arnhold Hall on West 13th Street and the historic Westbeth Artists Community on Bank Street.

Founded in 1919, The New School was established to advance academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. A century later, The New School remains at the forefront of innovation in higher education, inspiring more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students to challenge the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The university welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and public programs that encourage open discourse and social engagement. Through our online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence.


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Will Wilbur,
The New School
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