Kraig Kelsey/ Professional Actor, Teaching Artist
“In an education system increasingly settling for the bottom line, Dr. Joyner challenges his students to reach their full potential by encouraging critical thinking, provoking thoughtful discussion, and insisting upon professional presentation. His vibrant lectures and complex assignments demand insight and articulation that bring out the best in each student, all while maintaining a sense of fun that can come only from his sincere passion for what he does.”
Shelby Glasgow/ Independent Stage Manager, Chicago, IL
“Without hesitation, I always include Dr. J in my list of favorite college professors. These days, there is so much detachment between teacher and student (TA’s teaching classes, web assignments, etc.), but I never felt that in his Theatre History 1 & 2 class. Dr. J. took the time in his passionate and informative lectures to make sure that we all understood the subject matter. His testing method allowed us to show what we had genuinely learned as opposed to regurgitating answers from a textbook or study guide. I’m not saying that his classes are easy; in fact, they might have been the hardest ones I had! However, I appreciated the fact that he was challenging me intellectually on a subject that I really do need to know everything about…it is my field, after all!
“This statement is pretty much all business, but at the end of the day, Dr. J was always there for me as both a professor and a mentor. I’m so happy that we’ve been able to stay in touch! He’s a great guy!”
“Tom Joyner is a stellar teacher, and his influence on my theatrical career resonates through my work. His passion and attention to detail in our theatre history classes, drove my interest in theatre history and pushed me to new levels of knowledge and understanding. I will always be grateful to Dr. Joyner for the time he has given me and I know that his teaching has made me a better performer and scholar. ” – Michael Witherell/ MFA Graduate Student, University of Alabama.
Joshua Baggett/ Director, Chicago, IL
“Dr. Joyner fosters a learning environment that encourages students to embrace the intellectual energy of our global community. By engaging us through his passion for the world, he inspires by connecting us to our cultural and historical heritages through a prism of the theatrical arts. In his courses I learned stronger, more effective analytical styles; strengthened skills in writing, research, and criticism; and developed a sensitivity to artistic and cultural influences. His classes equipped me with the necessary tools to be an intelligent, competitive member of the arts community.
“If that’s too long, you could just use, ‘He’s smart. His classes got me work.'”
Kevin A. Bracey/ Independent Filmmaker, Orlando, FL
“Dr. Joyner was one of the most influential professors of my college career. This is a man that demanded that we reach for a higher standard, never doubting that we could succeed. He prepared his students for the world in ways that we didn’t yet understand. We all complained that the tests were hard, but I feel that he taught me more than any other professor about why what we do is so important. Thanks, Dr. J!”
Brooke Sprunger/M.A. Candidate in Applied Theatre, City University of New York
“Tom Joyner shows passion and deep dedication in all that he does. His knowledge of theatre history is extensive, and he is both committed to and enthusiastic about sharing it. During my time as a student under his tutelage, I greatly admired his professionalism, honesty, and expertise. His door was always open, and I appreciated his willingness to engage with students, providing straight-forward feedback and helpful advice in both academic and creative situations. Tom does nothing half-heartedly, and would be a wonderful addition to any professional endeavor.”
Michael Witherell/ M.F.A. Candidate in Theatre, University of Alabama
“Tom Joyner is a stellar teacher, and his influence on my theatrical career resonates through my work. His passion and attention to detail in our theatre history classes, drove my interest in theatre history and pushed me to new levels of knowledge and understanding. I will always be grateful to Dr. Joyner for the time he has given me and I know that his teaching has made me a better performer and scholar.”
Lauren Zehr/ Professional Actress, Pennsylvania
Tom has an incredible knowledge of the theatre and is passionate about sharing it with his students. His classes are engaging and stomp all over the stigmas often associated with taking a theatre course, including “Easy A”. He challenges his students, encourages objective and deep thinking, and his classes are structured well while leaving room for what theatre students love to do most: Create. He is an encourager and genuinely cares that his students succeed in his classes, in their professions, and in life.
As a director, loves taking a script and bringing it to life by digging deep into the characters with his actors and then developing these characters and sharing their story with the audience. I am thrilled to have worked with him on multiple projects and look forward to the day when our paths cross in the theatre realm once again!