Adam Noble, a self-described “movement specialist,” brings a wealth of performing arts experience to the UH School of Theatre & Dance. With an expansive background in martial arts, dance, theatre and teaching, Noble approaches his work at UH with a precision and finesse unique to his eclectic background.
The head of the B.F.A. Acting Program, Noble is responsible for guiding undergraduate acting students through their studies. He also teaches undergraduate- and graduate-level courses, acts as the resident fight and intimacy director, and manages the school’s armory — or, on-stage weapons bank.
“I wear a lot of hats,” laughs Noble. And that’s just on campus. He’s also actively involved in the performing arts community around the city, serving as a consultant on various theatre projects and the studio movement instructor for Houston Grand Opera.
But at his core, Noble is a teacher at heart.
What started as a side gig when he was a teenager has blossomed into a vocation that has taken him across the country and abroad.
“I think it was in New York when it really hit me. I turned a corner and saw that teaching was a viable career for me,” he says, recalling the moment it clicked. “Teaching keeps me connected to the arts. What I love about academia is that I’m always learning something new.”
As a professor, Noble’s goal is to inspire students to be curious about the field, ask questions and seek out a path that connects to their personal goals.
“My main teaching philosophy is to spark questions,” he says. “Every student I encounter comes from a different background, a different set of experiences and has a different trajectory for where they want to go. I could provide answers for what worked for me, but that will probably pale in comparison to answers they find for themselves. I want to open doors for them.”
That dedication is paying off. Noble was awarded the UH Teaching Excellence Award, the University’s highest teaching honor, this spring. He was recognized by the Office of the Provost at the Faculty Excellence Awards Dinner on April 18, 2019.
“It’s lovely to be recognized for the work that I’m doing. I’m very honored,” he says. “We have so many people here at UH who are doing great work. To be one of only four recipients from a campus this large, that’s very special.”