Facilities and Faculties
- By gentleguide
- On Mon 12 Sep 2016
John Pomeroy, Chair of the Drake University Theatre Arts Department, recently told of happenings over the summer and upcoming possibilities for changes at the University. These included the dedication of the William S.E. Coleman Studio Theatre, future potential improvements in facilities at the Harmon Fine Arts Center, and two new adjunct professors for beginning Theatre Arts students.
In a welcoming message to the new and returning members of the Fine Arts community, Pomeroy (or as many of the Drake denizens know him, simply "Roy") started off by highlighting Theatre Alumni efforts over the past few years to refurbish and rededicate Studio 55 of the Harmon Fine Arts Center, where many Drake student productions have been held over the past few decades. At a ceremony held this past June and attended by numerous Drake Theatre alumni, Studio 55 was christened as the William S.E. Coleman Studio Theatre.
Known colloquially as the "Doc Box", the black box theatre received a modest remodeling/repainting and a new floor, along with numerous minor upgrades in the near future to seating and other amenities to ensure the theatre students at Drake have many great years and productions ahead of them in the often-used facility. In addition to speeches during the dedication ceremony about Doc's legacy in the department, excerpts of many previous productions held in the facility were performed by both current and former Drake theatre students. The next Drake Theatre production to use the space will be a production of Doubt - A Parable, scheduled to open October 6.
Pomeroy also noted that preliminary efforts were underway to modernize the Performing Arts Hall, also located in the Harmon Fine Arts Building on campus. New lighting board wiring and dimmer switches were installed to improve the technical specs in that space. There is also a "needs and feasibility study" being undertaken to determine what future requirements will have to be met for the Theatre Arts Department, and the best way to go about achieving those facility expectations. Whether this would mean more refurbishing and upgrading of existing space, or even a new Fine Arts building, would be determined by this study. More to come on this in the future.
Finally, Pomerly wecomed two new adjunct professors who are joining the department. Kailen Fleck will be teaching Acting I, while Sarah Hinzman will be the instructor for Musical Theatre I. Their addition to an already strong staff at Drake will continue to insure the kind of quality productions held there.
If you've not recently attended a production at Drake, I highly recommend you do so. The upcoming season includes the aforementioned Doubt - A Parable; Heathers - The Musical (directed by the talented Karla Kash); Student Showcase productions of a number of new and challenging works, and many more. All current theatre season productions will be held at the Coleman Studio Theatre, and they are extremely affordable and well-staged, with terrific talent both on-stage and behind the scenes. Go see another great part of Des Moines Theatre at Drake University.