New theater hire a member of Blue Man Group

Isaac Eddy, a 1997 graduate of Randolph Union High School and a member of the Blue Man Group has been hired to teach as associate professor in the Johnson State College theater department for a 1-year visiting position.

A graduate of Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s in film studies and the City University of New York, Brooklyn College with a master’s in Performance and Interactive Media Art, Eddy began his Blue Man career in Los Angeles 12 years ago. Blue Man Group is a global entertainment company formed in 1991 by three college friends, and is best known for its creative stage productions around the world. Isaac has performed with Blue Man Group in New York City, Chicago, London, and Las Vegas. He has helped cast and train Blue Men, write material, and perform nightly in the show.

Eddy has also led workshops and lectured on improvisation, acting, and experimental theater at the Tisch school of the Arts at New York University, the University of Michigan, Curry College, and the Governor’s Institute on the Arts of Vermont.

“[Isaac Eddy] demonstrated a spirit of forward thinking and a vision for the theater program,” says Assistant Professor of Performing Arts Bethany Plissey. “He has years of experience in an off-broadway production. He has been a Blue Man in the New York cast for 12 years, and is a leader for that performance organization. This also means Isaac has current connections in the theater world of New York. I feel he will be very well received. I think he is going to be much appreciated on this campus. His guest teaching demonstrated instruction that is engaging, easily accessible and effective.”

The decision to hire Eddy was unanimous, and according to Dean of Academic Affairs Dan Regan, Eddy is very unusual as a recruitment candidate as when he was offered the position, he asked President Murphy for some modest funding, not for himself, but to bring actors to campus. Eddy wants to raise awareness of theater and drama at Johnson State, and use that to help recruit new students. He is anxious to make connections with the K-12 world to encourage more students to join.

“This wasn’t part of the package,” says Regan,  “but it also turns out that his wife is an accomplished political scientist. I don’t know if there will be a course for her to teach next spring, but she also sounds pretty terrific.”

Eddy and his wife, writer and Chinese environmental policy expert, Lucia Green-Weiskel, currently live at the Chooklyn Farms artist residence in Fort Greene in Brooklyn, New York with their two-year-old daughter. Born and raised in Vermont, Eddy has a strong desire to live in the Johnson community, and to live and work back in Vermont.

“I thought Isaac was a really nice guy,” said JSC senior Jonathon Howard. “He articulated himself very well, was very clear and concise in what he wanted and expected, and was very understanding of people when he asked us to do a specific activity. He gave a little background and asked who felt comfortable doing it. I think he’s going to be a great asset to the department when he joins the team. I wish I would be here to work with him as he seemed like such a calm, collected and well-rounded individual, but I’m excited for other students to be able to work with him…He also said he wants his daughter to grow up in the rural area instead of New York in a tight, close community where she can’t go anywhere. He wants her to be able to play in the backyard or go out in the woods, and see nature instead of being crowded by technology. I think it’ll also be good for him to come back to his roots.”

Howard says that he thinks that Eddy will bring a new outlook on theater as the students have learned a lot about what the professional realm of theater was like, but he could bring a lot of the modern interpretations, especially on how to audition.

If his teaching turns out to be what was seen in the teaching demonstration, Regan says he expects that Eddy will be excellent and highly regarded by students. “Eddy has already said he wants to make himself so indispensable that he will be here beyond the 1-year period, and we hope so too,” says Regan. “It’s only a 1-year position right now, because we try to be prudent, and make sure that enrollments in an area can sustain another fulltime person. We have no qualms at all about Isaac Eddy, but we do what we can to make sure funding goes to areas where there is strong student need.”