Tony Hardin to Join Kent State as Director of the School of Theatre and Dance

After a national search, the School of Theatre and Dance is thrilled to announce the appointment of scenic, projection and lighting designer Tony Hardin as its new director. Hardin most recently served as associate professor and chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Kentucky.

"We are thrilled to welcome Tony Hardin to Kent State as the new director of the School of Theatre and Dance," said Diane Petrella, dean of the College of the Arts. "Tony brings outstanding experience as an administrator, theatre educator and professional designer that will benefit our students, faculty and staff for years to come." 

Passionate about theatre education since his very first undergraduate theatre class, Hardin holds a B.F.A. in design and technology from the University of Kentucky and an M.F.A. in scenic design from the University of Virginia. As a faculty member at the University of Kentucky, Hardin taught courses in scenic design, lighting design, scenic painting, introduction to theatre, and stage management. Additionally, Hardin designed the scenery and lighting for many of UK's productions and supervised the work of student designers. Prior to the University of Kentucky, Hardin was assistant professor at Longwood University in Virginia.

As a freelance scenic and lighting designer, Hardin's work has appeared in a variety of venues nationally and internationally such as Cincinnati Shakespeare Company in Ohio, Heritage Repertory Theatre in Virginia, Mount Washington Valley Theatre in New Hampshire, Greenbrier Valley Theatre in West Virginia, The Lexington Children’s Theatre in Kentucky, and Operafest Internacionale in Italy. Some of his favorite designs include Ma Rainey's Black BottomCabaret, Treasure Island, The Snow Queen, and The Neverending Story

"I am extremely excited and look forward to working with and serving the talented faculty, staff, and students as Director of the School of the Theatre & Dance in the College of the Arts at Kent State University," said Hardin upon learning of his appointment.

Hardin received the Marvin Simms Design Fellowship sponsored by the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival (KC/ACTF) in 2006 and as a result spent time with Broadway designers Ming Cho Lee and Constance Hoffman at the Kennedy Center for the Arts. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the United States Institute for Theatre Technology.

Professor Hardin will join Kent State on July 1., 2022.

To learn more about the School of Theatre and Dance, visit 


About the School of Theatre and Dance

The School of Theatre and Dance offers B.A. degrees in Dance Studies and Theatre Studies; B.F.A. degrees in Dance Performance, Design Technology and Production, and Musical Theatre; and M.F.A. degrees in Acting  (intended for the returning professional) and Design Technology and Production. 

Comprehensive theatre and dance programs are rooted in a professional model that utilizes a combination of classroom learning and hands-on production experiences, providing multiple opportunities per year for students in all areas. The School of Theatre and Dance’s mainstage season consists of 7 productions: 2 plays, 2 musicals, and 3 dance concerts. In addition to the mainstage season, the Black Box Series offers opportunities for student produced, directed, and written works. Dance students have the opportunity to join the Kent Dance Ensemble, Kent State University’s pre-professional dance company and senior Musical Theatre students participate in Musical Theatre Showcase in New York City.

The School of Theatre and Dance is housed in the Center for the Performing Arts’ Roe Green Center for the School of Theatre and Dance, a 70,000+ square foot wing that was renovated and partially newly constructed in 2010. The Roe Green Center houses 3 theatre spaces used for theatre and dance performances: Erdmann-Zucchero Theatre (flexible 150+ seat black box), E. Turner Stump Theatre (500 seat proscenium), and Wright-Curtis Theatre (190+ seat arena/thrust). The dance program utilizes a suite that includes a lobby, 3 large dance studios, and locker room facilities for students and faculty. In addition to traditional classroom space, the Roe Green Center includes acting studios, costume shop, costume technology lab, dressing rooms, lighting lab, makeup classroom, props lab, sound studio, scenery lab, scene shop, and welding lab.

The School of Theatre and Dance is also the home of Porthouse Theatre, Kent State University’s summer Equity theatre. 

The School of Theatre and Dance is a member of URTA and is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) and the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).

Media Contact:

Joni Koneval, 330-672-0116,

POSTED: Friday, May 6, 2022 11:36 AM
UPDATED: Saturday, April 13, 2024 02:31 PM
Joni Koneval