Professor exits GSU stage for the last time

Laurianna Cull

In 1995, when he first started teaching at Georgia Southern University, there was no Performing Arts Center or Black Box Theater.

Students had to perform in either a classroom that had been converted into a theater or in a non-air-conditioned auditorium. Georgia Southern College had just become a university four years before Jim Harbour landed a job as a theater professor at the newly established Georgia Southern University.

Harbour, who taught at three different schools before coming to GSU, brought a vision when he was given the opportunity to work here. He wanted to give students an opportunity to gain experience while enrolled in the university by creating a theater program for the PAC and the Black Box Theater.

“Working with Jim is a crazy experience. He’s been doing this longer than I’ve been alive. He

has an organic style of directing, and he gives you lot of freedom with how you want to play

your character,” Leonard Morrow, freshman theater major and actor Howard Wagner in “Death of a Salesman,” said.

Professor Harbour exited the stage for the last time this semester at the Black Box Theater as lead character Willie Loman in “Death of a Salesman.”

He is currently directing the show “On the Razzle,” which will be his last production for the Performing Arts Center. He will retire spring semester after teaching theater and directing plays for the past 18 years.

“It’s been such an honor to work under Jim for my freshman year. He’s taught me a lot of things I didn’t know. I’m very grateful to have him as a director,” Alex Bowser, who plays Weinberl in “On the Razzle” and freshman accounting major, said.

“Just recently on the closing night of ‘Death of a Salesman,’ I had fifteen to twenty alumni come to see me. They told me how my place in their lives had influenced them. I was very touched,” Harbour said.

He plans to migrate to Florida and make a return to professional acting.

Harbour said, “This program is very special. There is such a sense of ensemble, and the students really take care of each other. I’ve seen two students go after the same role and when one of them gets the part and the other doesn’t, the one who didn’t get the role genuinely congratulates the other guy.”