Spotlight: Dr. David Charles

Name:

David Charles

Occupation:

Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance; Associate Assistant Director at SAK Comedy lab and Artistic Director of Rollins Improv Players

Hometown:

Dunedin, New Zealand, but I have now spent more than half of my life in America.

How did you end up in Florida?

I auditioned for a scholarship to attend American universities when I was in high school. I’ve been here since 1991 and that’s when I started my education. I jumped from degree to degree to degree and I got my PhD at LSU in Baton Rouge then I applied here and that’s how I got here. So, I’ve been here since 2003.

How did you end up at Rollins and how long have you worked here?

I’m wrapping up my eighth year. I just came here after I got my PhD.

What are you some of your previous jobs?

I’ve done quite a bit of acting and improv with various different companies, but Rollins was my first full-time job out of college. I toured as a grand assistant and have had my own improv companies on campuses and have been a freelance actor, adviser and director and have continued to do that as well.

What’s your favorite aspect about Rollins?

The students. I really enjoy the community of our students here and their passion to grow and explore and I feel really lucky to have found the kind of student body that gets what I do and likes what I do.

What’s the story with Rollins Improv Players (RIP)?

RIP has been going on for seven years. When I got here, I knew I wanted to get an improv troupe going. I had started groups at all of the universities I’d attended, so I wanted to do that here as well.

What are your outside interests?

I’m lucky that my job and my interests actually line up. Some people work to get to do what they want to do in the evenings and my work is what I want to do. I actively pursue other improv projects even though I’m busy. Greek is the third show I’ve directed this semester in addition to what I do with RIP. I love cooking and nature walks. I enjoy canoeing with my wife once every two years or so. And I love traveling.

Random fact:

I went to Yellowstone National Park last summer; I did a kind of a huge road trip with my wife Heather. We put nearly 4,000 miles on the car and we drove from Florida all the way to Yellow Stone then back down to Salt Lake City. That’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time is see the northern states. We got a photo of a baby bear by our car because we did the one thing they never tell us to do which is get out of our car to look at nature. That was really awesome, so I’d highly recommend [it].

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