Gavin Mayer

Assistant Professor, Theatre and Dance Performance
School: School of Music, Theatre, and Dance
Specialty: Musical Theatre and Directing


Originally from Greeley, Colorado, Gavin Mayer is a professional theatre director and an award-winning veteran teacher. Gavin earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre at the University of Wyoming and a secondary teaching licensure in Theatre Education from the University of Northern Colorado.

Gavin served as the Director of Theatre and theatre teacher at Pomona High School in Arvada, Colorado for 11 years where he also co-founded and led the Pomona Arts and Humanities program – an arts integration cohort within the traditional school. During his tenure at Pomona he earned his Master of Arts in Directing from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

After leaving the high school setting and earning his MFA in Directing at Florida State University, Gavin returned to Colorado where he began working as a professional director and an adjunct professor in the School of Theatre at the University of Northern Colorado where he taught directing and theatre education courses.

Gavin spent two years at the University of Nevada, Reno as an assistant professor, the Director of Musical Theatre and devised, developed and implemented a musical theatre major.

Gavin has worked extensively as a director at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, a regional LORT B theatre in suburban Denver, where he has directed the world premiere and regional premieres of numerous musicals and plays.  Some of his directing credits include: Elf, the Musical, I’ll be Home for Christmas (Henry Nomination for Best New Musical) The Mountaintop (Henry Nomination for Best Director of a Play), White Christmas (Henry Nomination for Best Director of a Musical), Disney’s Tarzan, She Loves Me, The Great Gatsby, A Christmas Carol the Musical, Curtains (Henry Nomination for Best Director of a Musical and Best Musical), Miracle on 34th Street and Legally Blonde (True West Award winner for Best Musical and nomination for Best Director of a Musical.) Gavin has also done extensive work with the Arvada Center's Education Department where he directed the summer high school musical intensives for ten years.

 Other professional credits include Baby Dance, 4000 Miles, Over the River and Through the Woods (Cherry Creek Theatre), Guys and Dolls: in Concert (Lone Tree Arts Center) and Forever Plaid (Post Playhouse). Other favorite directing experiences include Company, Pippin, Jesus Christ Superstar, Bus Stop, Sweeney Todd, Les Miserables, Urinetown, Run for Your Wife, West Side Story and the high school world premiere of The Laramie Project.  Gavin also served as the Founding Co-Artistic Director for the Historic Elitch Theatre New Works Festival at the 130-year-old Elitch Theatre. 

Gavin's teaching philosophy is rooted in a "Student as Client" approach where students are encouraged to adopt a growth mindset and take an active role in their education through guided and structured autonomy. Gavin insists on a respectful, encouraging and kind studio space so that students feel empowered to take bold risks in the exploration and refinement of their artistry.