Episode 21: Musical theatre with Kaitlin Hopkins
October 4, 2021
Kaitlin Hopkins, head of the Musical Theatre Program at Texas State University, joins the Big Ideas TXST podcast to discuss building a ground-breaking musical theatre program from the ground up and then navigating the program through the COVID pandemic.
Hopkins is an award-winning actress, director, producer and educator who has worked in theater, film and television for more than 30 years. In 2009 she revived the BFA Musical Theatre program at Texas State, which is now ranked in the top 10 musical theatre programs in the nation. She is also the proud co-founder of EETA, Educators for Equity in Theatre Arts.
In addition, she is the co-founder of Living Mental Wellness, which is a holistic evidence-based company that offers educational programs to enhance mental wellness for performing artists through an integrated scientific life skills model. Her TEDx Talk on the importance of mental wellness education for students, along with her research and curriculum-based mental wellness training program for performing artists at Texas State has garnered international attention.
As an educator, she received the 2016 Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching from Texas State and was recognized by Broadway Dreams Foundation as an innovative voice in education, and one of the 6 top women educators in the performing arts. In 2012, in collaboration with the ProJazz Institute Hopkins created and launched the first musical theater-training program in Chile. In addition, she serves as an external examiner for the Sharjah Performing Arts Academy in Dubai and on the artistic advisory board for North Texas Performing Arts. Hopkins teaches master classes all over the country and consults for multiple individuals and arts organizations.
As a director, writer and producer her production of The World According to Snoopy made its world premiere at Texas State and had regional premiers at Theatre Under The Stars and Theatre Aspen. Other producing credits include producing radio plays and musicals for The Plays the Thing Series (LA Theatre Works) and The Pet Shop (Animal Planet Network) hosted by comedian Andy Kindler. Her directing credits at State University include: The Hunchback of Notre Dame, RENT, Anything Goes, Urinetown, Hair, All Shook Up, Oklahoma!, The Wild Party, A Little Princess (world premiere) and Bat Boy-The Musical. Her productions at Texas State have been recognized with numerous awards by the Austin Critics' Table Awards.