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Jim Epperson

Faculty Emeritus

Jim Epperson
is faculty emeritus at Catawba College. A graduate of Florida State University (Ph.D.) and the University of Arkansas (B.A. and M.A.), Epperson taught theatre arts at Catawba for twenty-six years. Serving first as chair of the theatre arts department and then dean of the school of performing arts, Epperson’s contributions were honored by the college when he was presented with the "Trustee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Catawba College."  His abilities were also acknowledged when he was selected as Jefferson-Pilot Professor of Theatre, with his induction into the Blue Masque/Theatre Arts Department Hall of Fame, and with the naming of the The McCachren-Epperson Theatre Arts Office Facility (the "McEpp House") in his honor. The "Jim Epperson Outstanding Student Director Award" was also named in his honor.  

Included in Epperson’s leadership related activities is his service on the board and as president of the North Carolina Theatre Conference. He also served on the board of the Southeastern Theatre Conference and acted as chair of its College/University Division. Epperson was honored by the North Carolina Theatre Conference with its "Herman Middleton Service To North Carolina Theatre Award," as well as with the "Marian A. Smith Distinguished Theatre Arts Contribution Award." Also active with the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival, Epperson first served as its North Carolina playwriting chair, then later on its board and as playwriting chair for KC/ACTF’s entire southeastern United States region, among other responsibilities. Epperson was honored by the KC/ACTF with its "John F. Kennedy Outstanding Service Medallion."  Artistically, several of the theatrical productions he directed for Catawba College were chosen for presentation at the KC/ACTF yearly regional festival. Epperson is credited   with directing more than sixty-five productions in his career.

Active throughout the Salisbury, North Carolina arts community, Epperson has directed theatre productions for Piedmont Players Theatre, The Center for Faith and the Arts St. Thomas Players, and Lee St. Theatre. He has served on the Piedmont Players board. And, when a St. Thomas Players production he directed for the North Carolina Community Theatre Festival gained top honors, it was subsequently performed at the Southeastern Theatre Conference gathering as well.

Epperson’s writing on local theatre subject matter includes a history, The Combination Touring Company And Its Influence On The Theatre In Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina.  He has also written plays on historical topics that have been presented in Salisbury theatres, as well as at the North Carolina Playwrights Festival. For Those Bloody Fields concerns the Salisbury confederate prison and the death therein of explorer David Livingstone’s son. "Nay! Ney (Double Ney)" involves the possible local death of France’s Field Marshall Michel Ney. And, "Sarah’s Doomed Condition" portrays the famous actress Sarah Bernhardt at an early twentieth century appearance in Salisbury’s Meroney Theatre.

Included among other community arts involvement are Epperson’s vocal performances with the Catawba College Choir, the St. John’s Men’s Chorus, the Salisbury/Rowan Community Chorus, and The Concert Choir of Salisbury. Additional community activities include Epperson’s service as chief judge for his voting precinct, as well as performance as chair of the Rowan County Parks and Recreation Commission. Very active in the Senior Games, he competes often on the local, state and national levels in basketball and track.

Prior to his time at Catawba College, Epperson taught at the University of Oklahoma, Appalachian State University, and Western Carolina University.

Epperson is married to retired librarian Lucinda Covington Epperson and has two children, Heather Hays, of Aptos, California, and Robert Epperson, of Charlotte, N.C. He has two grandchildren, Chandra and Forrest Hays.