Interim Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Sursa Distinguished Professor of Fine Arts
Michael M. O’Hara is the Sursa Distinguished Professor of Fine Arts, the Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts, and a Professor of Theatre & Dance where he teaches theatre history, script analysis, and introduction to theatre. He also writes, directs, and acts for theatre and film. He received Ball State University’s Outstanding Junior Faculty Award in 2002, the Lawhead Teaching Award in 2001, and the University Excellence in Teaching Award twice, once in 1999 and again in 2005, when he also won the Dean's Teaching Award. O'Hara has also been named to Who's Who Among America's Teachers and was awarded two certificates of teaching excellence while a graduate student at the University of Maryland at College Park, where he earned his PhD.
He has published scholarly work on Bernard Shaw, American Theatre, and theatre pedagogy. Pearson Education published his digital textbook, co-authored with Dr. Judy Sebesta, "Explore Theatre," in 2012. He is a national leader in theatre pedagogy and technology, having published and/or presented over 40 papers or lectures on the topic. His most recent publication, "Technology & Theatre Pedagogy: A Call TO the Trenches," appears in "Teaching Theatre Today," 2nd ed., edited by Anne Fliotsos and Gail Medford, Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2010, and it includes one of the first "YouTube Documentaries" published by a major scholarly press. O'Hara is also the current president of the International Shaw Society, an associate editor for "SHAW: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies," and a member of the Electronic Technology Committee for Association for Theatre in Higher Education.
O'Hara earned a BA in English from Fordham University in New York City, and his MA and PhD. in theatre history, theory, and criticism from the University of Maryland, College Park.