• Broadway Beat

College Theatre Major Expelled After He's Caught Acting for Pay

by Calder Holbrook. @calderholbrook.

NORTH NEWTON, Kans. - Officials at Bethel College have announced that undergraduate theater major Erik Hampstead would be expelled following an investigation into allegations that he had accepted payment for acting.


“Amateurism is important in college theater, so that students are able to learn their craft free of the corrupting influence of money,” said Sally Rutherford, spokesperson of the massively powerful NCAA (National Collegiate Arts Association) compliance office. “By virtue of his decision to appear in a local Eddie’s Italian Family Restaurant commercial for the confirmed sum of $200, Bethel has agreed that Mr. Hampstead must be stripped of his amateur status and henceforth he may no longer act either in college or in any Improv Olympic games.”


In the wake of the decision, Hampstead broke his silence to accept responsibility for his actions.


“Obviously I have let down my fellow collegiate actors and our director, with whom I was looking forward to performing a radical new take on You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown,” said Hampstead, who had dreamed of acting for Bethel since being taken to attend plays there by his father as a boy. “I accept the school’s decision, and am now left with no choice but to hire an agent to begin my career as a professional actor.”


The decision was met with harsh criticism from college theater compensation activists.


“A young man responsible for the massive profits generated by the college theater juggernaut having his education taken away is outrageous,” said Ira Campbell, who previously exposed the common practice of college actors being paid for no-show jobs at car dealerships owned by theater buffs. “Bethel is just covering their asses to avoid losing scholarships, or eligibility to compete in the post-theater season after looking the other way as many of their legacy actors take money for roles in regional theater and visiting film productions.”


Despite the decision to expel Hampstead, Bethel College is not yet entirely in the clear, as a federal investigation into its thespians failing urine tests for acting performance-enhancing drugs continues.