THEATRE TCU HISTORY
Henry “Hank” E. Hammack was born in Kansas
City, Kansas, in 1928. He attended Whitman College in
Walla Walla, Washington as a piano student, then served
in the United States Marine Corps from 1950-1953 as
Morse code radio operator. He returned to the University
of Washington School of Drama where he earned a BA in
1956, and an MA in 1962. Later, he was to earn his Ph.D.
in theatre from Tulane University in 1967. He joined
the theatre faculty at TCU in 1957, and taught at TCU
for 37 years until his retirement in 1994.
Dr. Hammack originally was hired at TCU as the Designer
and Technical Director, but during his long career he
was a true Renaissance man of the theatre, teaching
and creating in virtually every area of the discipline.
During his TCU years, Dr. Hammack designed scenery for
more than 25 productions, designed and constructed costumes
for more than 30, directed more than 70, and acted in
a few TCU productions as well, including On Borrowed
Time (1984), Brigadoon (1984), On
Golden Pond (1982) with colleague Dr. Gaylan Collier,
Our Town (1989), and Death of a Salesman
(1991). The courses he taught through those years is
essentially a litany of the catalogue: Introduction
to Theatre, Stagecraft, Scene Design, Theatre Lighting,
Stage Makeup, Wigmaking, History of Costume, Costume
Pattern Drafting, Literature and Criticism, Theatre
History, all levels of Acting from beginning to advanced,
Stage Speech and Diction. He advanced from the rank
of Instructor to a tenured Professor, and served as
the Chair of the Department a number of times, the last
in 1980-1982. He is currently Professor Emeritus.
Dr. Hammack also worked extensively in theatre away
from TCU, especially as an actor. His stage resume includes
more than 40 different productions, including A
Month of Sundays and The Rainmaker at
Circle Theatre, Carousel, Fiddler on the
Roof, and The Drunkard for Casa Manana,
A Streetcar Named Desire at Caravan of Dreams,
and Our Town, The Rainmaker, and Mame
for Fort Worth Theatre. He has also appeared in nearly
a hundred broadcast commercials and print advertisements,
as well as several industrial and feature films including
The Trip to Bountiful with Geraldine Page.
Dr. Hammack was married to Betty Jean Tongue from 1955
until her death in 1988. They have two sons, Stephen
and Scott Hammack. In 1989, he married Joyce Stevens
who has two children, Barbara Harrison and Daniel Stevens.
Dr. Hammack passed away in May, 2013, at the age of 84, after a long illness. Memorial gifts may be made to the Betty Hammack Memorial Scholarship, now part of the Melvin O. Dacus and Kathryne P. Dacus Award in Musical Theatre at TCU; the Alzheimer’s Assocation; or the Boar’s Head and Yule Log Guild at University Christian Church.