Joshua Frachiseur is the Assistant Professor of Scenic Design at Northern State University and has been teaching here for five years. He is also an alumnus of Northern and graduated with a undergraduate degree in history and a minor in theatre.
Before being a history major, however, Frachiseur was a math education student, but when he completed his sophomore field experience at a local middle school, he decided that a math teacher was simply not what he was meant to be. Frachiseur then went on to graduate with a MFA in Technical Directing from West Virginia University. He decided to come back to Northern after he received a Facebook message from Dr. Art Marmorstein, Professor of History here at Northern, that Larry Wild, the previous Professor of Scenic Design, was retiring and NSU was looking for someone to fill the void. Frachiseur accepted a position at Northern and moved back to Aberdeen. Before Frachiseur returned to Aberdeen, however, he worked on many notable theatre and television sets throughout the country. He has worked on the set of the daytime soap opera As the World Turns, working on everything from props and scenery to lighting and sound. He was also the Technical Director of the world premiere of Uncanny Valley off-Broadway in New York. Since returning to Northern, he has been involved with many plays here on campus, both in the area of set design as well as in the area of directing. A few of his most notable works in the area of set design at Northern were Batboy, the Musical and On the Verge. When asked about the highlights of his career, Frachiseur answered that Northern’s recent production of Gideon’s Knot, of which he was the director, was one of his favorites and stands out among the other shows in his career. Frachiseur has had many different jobs over the years, and this has allowed him to accrue a wide array of skills that have contributed to his success in a smaller theatre company, as it often requires one person to fill multiple roles. He is an excellent example of someone making a living in theatre without actually having to be onstage. When asked about how important backstage people are in theatre, Frachiseur responded, “It takes an army to put up a show…. The public sees a few talented faces, but for every performer there are a dozen talented people behind the scenes putting things together.”