Maegan McNerney Azar began her theatre career when she was nine years old as an orphan in the musical Annie. Since then, she has participated in community, educational, and professional theatre in states across the country. Currently, she is the Associate Professor of Acting and Directing at Furman.

A Florida native, Azar grew up on Matlacha, a small fishing island on the Southwest gulf coast. After graduating with salutatorian honors from Mariner High School (Fla.), Azar enrolled at East Tennessee State University. A member of the university honors scholar program, Azar played on the university's NCAA Division I volleyball team. Her theatre interests soon became a career goal when she decided to switch majors from biology to theatre in her third term at the university. Studying under Pat Cronin, Azar worked tirelessly to become a well-rounded theatre artist--not just an actor--by studying design, theatre history, and stage management in addition to her primary acting classes. She graduated with a bachelor of science in theatre in 2003 with summa cum laude honors while earning the Bud Frank Award for Excellence and the Outstanding Student in Theatre award.

From Tennessee, she traveled to Alabama where she was heavily recruited for the masters program in acting pedagogy at the University of Alabama. Under the tutelage of Ed Williams, Peder Melhuse, Tiza Garland, and Seth Panitch, this program uniquely melded her passion for acting and her passion for teaching. The Department of Theatre and Dance afforded her the opportunity to emphasize in theatre movement, through which she studied stage combat, period styles, jazz, ballet, mask work, and Laban, while maintaining a full schedule of acting in university productions, teaching a full semester load, and studying musical theatre, voice, and directing. She earned the Marian Gallaway Award for Distinguished Graduate Acting during her second year, and in 2006, she graduated with a master of fine arts in acting pedagogy.

During school, Azar began her career in the professional theatre, gaining experience in summer stock outdoor theatre venues in North Carolina and Ohio. Since graduating, she has worked for SummerTide Theatre, Seaside Repertory Theatre, and the California Theatre Center as both actor and teacher. She maintains allegiance to the Southeastern Theatre Conference, as well as the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies. She has also studied with Hamilton Camp at the Paul Sills' Wisconsin Theatre Game Center and Ballroom Dancing at the Fred Astaire Studios in Santa Clara, Calif. Through professional experience and development, Azar continues her training for a constantly changing theatre world.

In 2006, Azar was appointed as the education director at California Theatre Center. In this position, her mission to instill a life-long appreciation for the arts in our young people took root. Azar not only developed every piece of education material for the center, but she also worked as an actor and director for the company's professional productions. The center's theatre conservatory, internship program, great spring musical, youth professional acting, and outreach programs serve thousands of students in California, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada. In 2007, Azar also had the opportunity to design curriculum for second-language English students that was then presented on the first-ever American youth theatre tour to China. Azar's conservatory students have gone on to attend top theatre schools such as University of Southern California, American Musical and Dramatic Academy, and Carnegie Mellon.

Currently, Maegan is the Associate Professor of Acting & Directing at Furman University, Past-President of the South Carolina Theatre Association, Secretary of the Southeastern Theatre Conference Executive Committee, and an Artistic Associate at The Warehouse Theatre.​ Through her courses at Furman, Azar attempts to engage individual growth through theatre as a professional art form. In so doing, she hopes that students will carry their appreciation of theatre beyond the university grounds to a wider world in need of exploring the human spirit. ​​​​​​​

Name Title Description


Adaptation for Actors

For actors, studying the classics doesn't bring up images of stuffy language and boring lectures. It provides challenges on how to adapt a classic text for a globalized 21st century audience. Through exploration and investigation, students will re-imagine masterpieces in dramatic literature using improvisation, creative drama, and applied theatre. 4 credits.


Theatre Practicum

Significant participation in the department's theatre productions as determined by the faculty, including, but not limited to, serving as a cast member, in stage management, as a crew head or as an assistant to a designer. Required for declared majors every semester. Satisfactory-Unsatisfactory ONLY.


Introduction to Theatre

Script analysis, dramatic structure, production styles, introductory overview of acting, directing, design, and technical elements of production. Participation in some phase of play production (backstage or onstage) or a creative project is part of the course.


Introduction to Acting

Training in the basic element of the actor's craft. Exploration of the study and practice of realistic acting principles. Work will center on modern scene study, exercises and observation. No credit for students who have previously successfully completed THA-120. 4 credits.



Fundamentals of acting technique including script reading and analysis, movement, vocal development, and performance theory and practice.


Acting II: Characterization

Advanced acting techniques with emphasis on exploration and development of character through play reading and analysis, improvisation, ensemble acting, experimentation and performance.


Actor's Voice

Exploration of the natural voice using methods developed by Kristen Linklater including articulation for the stage, developing character voices and stage dialect.


Movement for the Actor

Exploration and development of the actor's physical expression for the stage. Includes: stage combat, period styles, mask work, and other methodologies that can be applied to theatrical performances.



Introduction to modern directing theory and strategies, including script analysis, casting and rehearsal techniques, and direction of a one-act play for public performance.


Acting III: Period Styles

The study and practice of period acting styles and the research tools available to actors. Offerings might include Greek Golden Age, Italian Commedia dell'Arte, Elizabethan England, French Neoclassicsm, and Comedy of Manners.


Acting IV: Advanced Topics

Emerging issues and innovative content not covered by other acting courses. Topics might include advanced scene study, contemporary or classical styles, show development, or collaborative theatre-making. Significant laboratory component required.


Senior Synthesis

A portfolio assembly/presentation completed by senior Theatre Arts majors. Student presentations will demonstrate levels of accomplishment in acting/directing, backstage, design, and written project work. Students will focus intensively on one particular project to demonstrate mastery in that area. Presentations will contain evidence of students' in-depth ability to understand and articulate the meaning of plays from a design, performance, technical or research perspective.


Creative Dramatics

Practical games, exercises and improvisations for actors and teachers who wish to work in the children146s theatre field or use creative dramatics in the non-theatre arts classroom. Includes creative dramatics and drama structures for the non-theatre classroom.

Pedagogy. The art of teaching. Literally, to lead the child. Education is the foundation of all great states, and those who wish to be educated should have that wish granted. As an educator, my job is of a serious nature. My job is to lead students to become well-rounded human beings that can deftly contribute to their communities. By creating a safe environment to take risks and setting high standards to achieve goals, students can reach beyond their limits to hone talent into skillful expression.

Expectations encourage success. In my classroom, I want to inspire my students' creative energies through questions and not answers. The classroom is a place of challenges, of honesty, and predominantly of process. The process through which students learn is how they later apply their merit, and the classroom is the place to fully invest oneself in the process of learning. But most importantly, I do not expect products in my classroom. The art of learning is a lifetime of discoveries and I encourage students to continue questioning the world in which they live.

A school should be the pillar upon which a community is built. That community must develop from the inside out. Professors and students, administrators and families are what make a college strong. They turn outward to the surrounding population to support, to encourage, and to motivate. And the population turns toward a school to educate the people that will make their city stable, their state secure, and their country free. Colleges and Universities allow communities the chance to embrace an educational institution. And together they support each other.

I believe strongly in the Liberal Arts education. It is impossible to be a well-rounded human being without an exposure to multiple subjects, and the Liberal Arts education provides such in its complete course of study. Each subject is connected and feeds into the other. By giving students a variety of techniques, they can create their own process for approaching everyday challenges. I strive to give my students freedom through choice and strength through flexibility.

My greatest challenge as an educator is bringing a sense of cohesion to the classroom. There are so many hurdles that can divide a group of people, but encouraging them to think as an ensemble is how communities are built. Whether a student is Hispanic, Asian, Indian, Black, or Native American, we must all be treated as viable, intelligent, individuals. I teach to the student's needs, and I believe in provoking them at their own level. Diversity is the bedrock of our country, and by creating a cohesive environment we can all achieve more.

I take very seriously the power that a teacher can hold over the mind of a student. I hope to shape students that are advocates of their values, yet respectful of the opinions of others. I believe that our students deserve a safe place to exchange their hopes and fears, thereby bringing them a more solid understanding of the global dynamics. In guiding our students through theatre, I hope to create a sense of life-long learning and appreciation of the arts and education. My desire and commitment to the theatre arts challenges each of my students to become bold human beings. And I believe that through theatre education, we can unlock the artist that lies deep within the human spirit.

  • "Mrs. Van Buren" in Intimate Apparel directed by Kerrie Seymour at Centre Stage South Carolina (2017)
  • "Cindy" in Luna Gale directed by Anne Kelly Tromsness at Centre Stage South Carolina (2016)
  • "Lainie" in Two Rooms directed by Kent Brown at Centre Stage South Carolina (2015)
  • "Harper" in Angels in America Parts I & II directed by Jayce T. Tromsness at The Warehouse Theatre (2014)
  • "The Resurrection of Lazarus" in Mistero Buffo with Michele Bottini at Accademia dell'Arte Dario Fo Project (2013)
  • "Portia" in The Merchant of Venice directed by Jayce T. Tromsness at The Warehouse Theatre (2012)
  • "Boston/Katie" in Something More Than a Game directed by Chip Egan at The Warehouse Theatre (2011)
  • "Marcia" in Identity Crisis directed by Peter Saputo at Centre Stage South Carolina (2011)
  • "Titania" in A Midsummer Night's Dream directed by Gayle Cornelison at California Theatre Center (2010)
  • "DeeDee" in Where or When? directed by Mike Ward at The Magic Theatre (2009) 
  • "Mirandolina" in Liberty Inn directed by Will Huddleston at California Theatre Center (2008)
  • Co-director of Romeo & Juliet  with Thomas Azar for Furman Theatre Arts (2017)
  • Director of Sisters of Swing for Centre Stage South Carolina (2016)
  • Director of HAIR for Furman Theatre Arts (2015)
  • Director and Choreographer of The Threepenny Opera for Furman Theatre Arts (2015)
  • Director of smudge for Centre Stage South Carolina's Fringe Series (2014)
  • Director of These Shining Lives for Furman Theatre Arts (2014)
  • Director of Julius Caesar for The Warehouse Theatre's Educational Touring Series (2013)​
  • Director of The Winter's Tale​ for Furman Theatre Arts (2013)
  • Assistant Director & Movement Coach of Eurydice at The Warehouse Theatre (2013)
  • Director & Choreographer of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for Furman Theatre Arts (2011)
  • Director & Choreographer of Lysistrata for Furman Theatre Arts (2011)
  • Director of Twentieth Century at California Theatre Center (2010)
  • Director of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat ​at California Theatre Center (2010)
University of Alabama
East Tennessee State University

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