A graduate of theatre arts at the University of Washington, Hjalmer began his career as a high school theatre arts teacher at Inglemoor High School in 1974 and continued to found the Woodinville High School Theatre program in 1983. His teaching career spanned 32 years, garnering numerous awards for his students and program during his tenure, including representing the United States at the Fringe Festivals in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1999 and 2004.
Hjalmer was inducted into the Washington State Thespian Society‘s Hall of Fame in 2008. After leaving teaching he was the Technical Director for the Northshore Performing Arts Center in Bothell. Regionally, Hjalmer has directed at the Phoenix Theatre in Edmonds, SecondStory Repertory in Redmond, and at the Woodinville Repertory Theatre. Most recently, Hjalmer was the Artistic Director for the Woodinville Repertory Theatre where he directed over 18 productions, beginning in 1998 with I Hate Hamlet and ending with Neil Simon’s Chapter Two in 2020. Some of his favorites from his time at WRT were The Foreigner, The Nerd,The Mousetrap and Chapter Two.
Currently Hjalmer is a co-founder of HEART and its Artistic Director. He directed 17 of HEART's streaming video shows including many from radio series like Our Miss Brooks, The Murder Clinic, Escape, Suspense, On Stage, The Haunting Hour, and My Friend Irma. He would like to thank the founding members and the original core group of actors of HEART. This new theatre company started from the strong love and friendships that have helped us survive the pandemic.
He was excited to get back to the stage and launch our first season of live theatre with the revival of Neil Simon's Chapter Two, and he looks forward to the future of the new theatre company HEART Repertory Theatre.