Meet Our Faculty

Charlie HukillCharlie Hukill
Professor of Theatre
Technical Director/Designer

Charlie Hukill is a Professor of Theatre and has been at McMurry University since 1985. He holds a BFA in Theatre from Stephen F. Austin State University, an MFA in Design and Playwriting from Trinity University, via the Dallas Theater Center, and has completed an additional 60 hours of post graduate study in Fine Arts, with concentrations in Playwriting, Acting, Directing, and the Fine Arts, from Texas Tech University. He holds the title of Technical Director/Designer for the McMurry Theatre program, but, like all the McMurry Theatre faculty, is a theatre generalist, teaching courses in Playwriting, Directing, Survey of Fine Arts, as well as Stagecraft, Scene Design, and Light Design. Since 1979, he has designed sets for over 100 productions, designed lights for over 89 productions, directed over 60 productions and performed roles in 37 plays, mostly in Texas, but also in Minnesota, Iowa, and Louisiana.

Charlie is an active member of the Texas Educational Theatre Association, in particular the Adjudicator’s Organization and the Playfest Committee. For the AO, he has served on the Standards and Practices Committee, the Executive Committee, and was Chair of that organization for two years. In addition, he has been an approved Critic Judge for UIL one-act play competitions since 1980 and has judged at all levels, zone to state, A-AAAAA all across the state. For the Playfest Committee, he is one of the reader/evaluators in the competition in the “Other Texan” category. In 2001, Charlie was selected at the Educator of the Year for Colleges and Universities by the TETA.

Charlie also likes to paint. In addition to the scenic painting required by his position, he is an artist working in oil and acrylic. He is a Signature Artist Member of the Center for Contemporary Arts, where has had three main gallery exhibitions of work and has participated in group shows. In addition, he has had two shows at the River Oaks Gallery, one at Northwood University in Cedar Hill, one at McMurry, and is represented in a gallery in Cross Plains.

Charlie’s wife, Betty, is also involved in theatre. She is the Executive Director of the Historic Paramount Theatre in downtown Abilene, and is a frequent director and performer in the local theatre scene. They have a dog and two cats who rule the house.

The McMurry Theatre Department places particular emphasis on playwriting and encourages students to develop skills in that area. Charlie has written several plays which have been produced. Southbound, his Masters thesis work, received a staged reading at the Dallas Theater Center in 1981 and a full production staging at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, in 1986. Another play, Occupational Hazards, was produced at Texas Tech in 1999, and at McMurry in 2001. During 1991 and ’92 Charlie produced 18 live original radio plays for KACU, Abilene’s PBS radio station, three of which he wrote. He is currently doing collaborative playwriting with John Holloway, a friend and colleague, who is a professor of Theatre at the University of Kentucky. They have completed one play which is circulating to competitions throughout the country and have two more in progress. The Texas Educational Theatre Association each year selects two original scripts at the College/University level as part of its annual Playfest competition.Since 1999, 14 of those awards have gone to McMurry students.

David Ainsworth
Associate Professor of Theatre


Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre, summa cum laude: Southwestern University
Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Production: The University of Texas at Austin

  • Teaching Specialties
  • Acting (all levels)
  • Costuming (construction and design)
  • Stage Make-Up
  • heatre Education
  • Unarmed and Armed Stage Combat (gold and silver medalist, men’s foil)
  • UIL OAP Certified Critic Judge
  • Twenty-Nine Years Teaching Experience
  • Tenured Faculty

“I believe, heart and soul, in the solid validity of the theatre-generalist training and education that is offered by the McMurry Theatre Department. A student’s undergraduate years are the years in which restrictive specialization should be avoided; the educational “net” should be cast widely, absorbing as much as possible about the way that theatre works, in all of its facets. This increases a student’s marketability, and also helps the student to intelligently identify his or her true area of specialization.

As a director, my favorite goal is to help students re-discover the classics, especially those that have been unjustly neglected by a modern world that is careless of its past and absorbed by the casual sensations of its present. Whether a classic play is fifty or several thousand years old, there is an incomparable thrill in establishing a living, vital link between our world and ages past. It makes all of us aware that the theatre has a tradition of true grandeur, and that we are its heirs if we wish to be.”

2017-18 Season

All This and Moonlight, by Charles R. Johnson
directed by Graeme Regan
Oct. 5-6

The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, by William Inge
directed by Charlie Hukill
Nov. 9-11, 16-18

Women in Congress, by Aristophanes
directed by David Ainsworth
Feb. 22-24, Mar. 1-3

Box Office Information

Located in the Lobby of the Amy Graves Ryan Fine Arts Center, on the corner of Sayles Blvd. and Hunt St.

Reservations/tickets are available online


The Box office opens two weeks before faculty and student directed shows open. A member of our staff will be at box office between 3-6 p.m. on weekdays and show days.

Department of Theatre
McMurry University 1 #68
Abilene, TX 79697

2017-18 Season