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UW-Madison alum Knapp retires after 28 years as Ohio State’s theatre technology manager

January 30, 2019

In 1990, James Knapp earned a master of fine arts from UW-Madison — and for the next 28 years, he dedicated himself to the students of theatre and drama.

After receiving his MFA in technical direction from the Department of Theatre and Drama at UW-Madison, Knapp began working at the Ohio State University's Theatre Department in a temporary position.

Ohio State’s student newspaper, The Lantern, recently reported how Knapp retired from his long-time position as technology manager in the department in December.

Over his career, The Lantern explains how Knapp has run the technical direction of the school’s production, and taught classes on design. He has seen the department evolve from using reel-to-reel and cassette players, to today’s highly digitized technology.

Knapp tells The Lantern that whether or not his students continue in theatre, what they’ve learned in the Theatre Department will stick with them. Knapp is sure to encourage them to ask “why?” and think about the theory behind facts.

According to students interviewed by The Lantern, Knapp’s passion for theatre and education has left a mark on the OSU campus.

UW-Madison's Department of Theatre and Drama today is housed within the School of Education.