Tom Loughlin is Distinguished Teaching Professor and Chair Emeritus of the Department of Theatre and Dance at SUNY Fredonia. He is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors, and an Artie Award winner. In June 2022, Tom was recognized with a Career Achievement Award at the 37th Annual Artie Awards for his work as both an educator and actor/director in the Buffalo region. He holds a BA in Theatre and English from SUNY Oswego and an MFA from the University at Nebraska-Lincoln, as well as additional study at New York University.
Specializing in classical and Shakespearean acting, Tom has been working professionally on the stage for over 40 years. He spent nine seasons with the Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival, where he was a principal actor and director, and served as Associate Artistic Director for the 1998 season. Tom made his acting home in Buffalo and has spent 15 seasons over 4 decades with Shakespeare in Delaware Park, as well as appearing at almost every major theatre in Buffalo (see resume above). Tom earned an Artie Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor for his performance as Polonius in the 2014 production of Hamlet in Shakespeare in Delaware Park.
While at SUNY Fredonia, Tom led a department that had 60 majors when he started to one that had over 300 majors, BFA degrees in Musical Theater and Acting, as well as a new dance program with a BFA in Dance. Tom helped the university achieve a reputation as one of the top theatre schools in the region, at one time being listed as one of the 25 best programs in the nation. Tom’s creative use of technology in his productions was a hallmark of his career. he pioneered the use of projections and animation as scenic elements, the use of Twitter as a show-based information back-channel, live feed video, and MIDI-created music and sound effects.
As a teacher, Tom brings a unique blend of Stanislavski technique merged with the improvisational techniques of Viola Spolin. A passionate teacher with a keen eye for student strengths and weaknesses, Tom’s primary acting principle is “the present moment.” Using improvisational games combined with the creation of clear and actionable objectives, Tom teaches students how best to be responsive to the real and present situation on stage, and how best to react and respond to their acting partner(s).
Tom continues to work professionally in Buffalo, and currently also produces and hosts a podcast, Notes from the Aisle Seat, sponsored by the 1891 Fredonia Opera House, covering the arts scene in northern Chautauqua county. You can learn more about Tom at his website www.tomloughlin.com.