Trent Blanton

Trent Blanton
Associate Professor, Theatre
209 Messick Theatre Arts Center
Mail Stop 553
East Carolina University


Trent is thrilled to join the faculty at the School of Theatre and Dance at ECU. He is a member of Actor’s Equity and the Society of Directors and Choreographers. Acting credits include roles at the Alliance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Pittsburgh CLO, The MUNY, KC Starlight, Actors Playhouse, Forestburgh Playhouse, Ford’s Theatre, York Theatre, Aurora Theatre, Passage Theatre, Actors Express, Horizon Theatre, Georgia Shakespeare & many others. He toured in the Broadway National Tour & Chinese premiere of Les Miserables with Colm Wilkinson. The Chinese premiere was the subject of a BBC documentary. He has also appeared in commercials, print campaigns & in industrial videos.

Directing credits include Company for the FAU Festival Rep; Eurydice & the world premiere of The Jacques Brel Project by world-renowned Brel translator and scholar, Dr. Arnold Johnston for FAU Theatre. The piece was co-directed and conceived by Rebecca Simon, featuring Musical Direction by Ana Flavia Zuim, former Director of Vocal Performance at the Steinhardt School at NYU; Urinetown, Romeo & Juliet & The Winter’s Tale for the McCarter Theatre Education programs and 20 productions for Rider University, several honored by Certificates of Excellence by the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival.

As Artistic Associate at Forestburgh Playhouse, he directed The Mystery of Irma Vep, Steel Magnolias, To Kill a Mockingbird, Crazy for You, Baskerville, A Murder is Announced & Oliver! He had the honor of being on the inaugural board that created and launched the new national new play festival, called In the Works/In the Woods, where each year, a new musical, play, two cabarets, and a Theatre for Young Audiences piece are developed. He has also directed the tour of the professional opera revue Dueling Divas. He directed Falstaff for Westminster Opera Theatre as well.

Other teaching work includes master classes with Brigham Young University, CCM at the University of Cincinnati, Choate Rosemary Hall, Young Playwrights of Washington D.C., the University of Texas at El Paso, The State of New Jersey Arts Symposium for Theatre Teachers, the Southeastern Theatre Conference, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Rider University’s Brodsky College of Business, and Rider Health Sciences Institute in conjunction with Penn Medicine in Princeton. He has served on the faculties of Rider University, Georgia College, Tennessee Governor’s School of the Arts, the Springer Opera House, and as guest faculty in Musical Theatre at Clark Atlanta University.

Trent’s work with online teaching and curriculum development has been featured Southeastern Theatre’s Conference Magazine Southern Theatre and in Rider Magazine (for alumni and the University Community). He was the director of the Pre-College Summer Musical Theatre redesigned two summer programs (Rider’s and assisted in the redesign at the Tennessee Governor’s School of the Arts) for effective online delivery. For Rider, he designed the BA degrees in Theatre Performance and Theatre Studies as well as the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting for Film, Television & Theatre. He also assisted in the redesign of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre. For his teaching at Rider, he was awarded the 2020 Christian R. & Mary F. Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award

He holds an MFA in Acting from Florida Atlantic University and a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude from Georgia College He also holds a Certificate in the Practical Study of the Michael Chekhov Technique (although his work is based on many techniques) from the Michael Chekhov Association. Trent is a member of the National Alliance of Acting Teachers which features teachers from some of the most prestigious institutions in the country. In addition, Trent is certified in Basic Life Support by the American Heart Association and is a Certified Nursing Assistant for the State of North Carolina. He hopes to continue his studies in healthcare and looks forward to more research and integration of artistic practices into the discipline.

Trent loves playing guitar, is an expert 1980 & 1990’s Pop Culture, and is a collector of 80’s British Pop memorabilia and vinyl records. Trent is also obsessed with music (all genres), horror films, and is an apocalyptic fiction fanatic (especially anything with a zombie). Ask him about Italian horror films. Also, he watches every TV show on streaming services. But his biggest love of all time is being Husband & Artistic Partner to Rebecca Simon, new ECU professor in Voice and Speech, and Doggy Daddy to Tony, who as Rebecca says, is “the best Lab in the world and the “Tony-est” of all the “Tonies.”

One more thing, Trent has always dreamed of being a Pirate since he played “The Pirate King” in The Pirates of Penzance in College.


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