College of Arts and Humanities
Jim Helsinger

Jim Helsinger, M.F.A.

Mr. Helsinger  has directed the UCF Theatre productions of Zombietown, Ah, Wilderness!, You Can’t Take It With You, The Importance of Being Earnest, Lend Me a Tenor,  Noises Off,  and The Servant of Two Masters.  He also teaches “Theatre Careers” and “Acting Verse” for UCF and works with UCF’s MFA in Acting 3rd year students in the professional internships at Orlando Shakes.

He also serves as the Artistic Director of the Orlando Shakespeare Theater in partnership with UCF, where he has directed The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Hamlet, Titus Andronicus, Cymbeline, Tartuffe, Richard III, Crime and Punishment, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge, All’s Well that Ends Well, Every Christmas Story Ever Told, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and others. 

Other regional directing credits include: Actor’s Theatre of Louisville (The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged, A Tuna Christmas), Florida Studio Theatre (The Mystery of Irma Vep, Good Evening), Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (The Foreigner, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Tempest, The Imaginary Invalid, Sleuth), Cape May Stage (Stones in His Pockets, The Big Bang, The Fourposter), Florida Repertory Theatre and Actor’s Playhouse (The 39 Steps), Flatrock Playhouse (The Hound of the Baskervilles), Colorado Shakespeare Festival (Much Ado about Nothing) and Prague Shakespeare Company (Dracula: The Journal of Jonathan Harker).

As an actor, he has performed in Off-Broadway in The Death and Life of Sherlock Holmes, The Taming of the Shrew, and The Contrast; and regionally in the title roles of Cyrano de Bergerac, Hamlet, Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, Dracula, and Henry V, and most recently as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest.  Television credits include From the Earth to the Moon; Sheena, Queen of the Jungle; Noah Knows Best; and Mortal Kombat

As a playwright, his adaptations include Robinson Crusoe; A Christmas Carol; Dracula: The Journal of Jonathan Harker; Frankenstein, The Modern Prometheus; and The Trial of Joan the Maid.  

He is a member of Actor's Equity Association, Screen Actor’s Guild-American Federation of Radio and Television Artists, National Theatre Conference, The National New Play Network, and is the Past President of the Shakespeare Theatre Association. He holds a BA from Miami University (Ohio) and an MFA from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival/University of Alabama Professional Actor Training Program. 


  • M.F.A. in Acting from University of Alabama/Alabama Shakespeare Festival (1987)
  • B.A. in Theatre from Miami University (1985)

Selected Publications

Creative Publications

  • Dracula: The Journal of Jonathan Harker
  • Robinson Crusoe


Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
10006 TPP4223C Theatre Careers in Performance Face to Face Instruction (P) Tu,Th 08:30 AM - 09:50 AM Available
No Description Available
Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
91335 TPP5156C Acting Studio Ⅰ Face to Face Instruction (P) Tu,Th 08:00 AM - 09:50 AM Available

This is a course focusing on acting in verse works focusing Shakespeare. Concentration will be on expressing emotion through language, paraphrasing, emotional involvement, objective, action, imagery, subtext, scansion, text work.

No courses found for Summer 2018.

Updated: Jan 28, 2019

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Theatre UCF  •  College of Arts & Humanities at the University of Central Florida
Main Office: PAC-T, Second Floor  •  12488 Centaurus Blvd., Orlando, FL 32816-2372  •  Phone: 407-823-2862 Fax: 407-823-6446