Dordt College News

Dordt students make donation to American Cancer Society

January 14, 2009

Williams and Roos

Danielle Roos is a theatre arts major at Dordt College, but her concern for families affected by cancer is no act. Both of her grandmothers were diagnosed with cancer: lung cancer was fatal for the first, while the other is a breast cancer survivor.

“Cancer is something many people understand,” says Roos, so when it came to choosing a play for her directing experience, the drama Wit was a script that she couldn’t put down. It is based on the life of Dr. Vivian Bearing, a college English professor diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

“To me, this powerful Pulitzer Prize-winning play seemed to belong in a college campus theatre. I found it to be very relevant to a community such as we have here” says Roos in the director’s notes for the performance. Dordt College currently has a professor battling cancer, along with a number of students who are dealing with it in their families.


Three free performances were presented Dec. 10-12, with students encouraged to make donations to the American Cancer Society. The effort raised $100, which was recently presented to Leanne Williams, Senior Community Relations representative for the American Cancer Society.

“My experiences while directing this play have been some of the most educational of my time in college thus far,” says Roos. “Education is not simply about studying abstract concepts, it is about discovering what we are capable of and learning things we may depend on in the future.”

Jenna Veenbaas, Abbotsford, BC, played the lead role in the performances directed by Roos, who is a junior from Sioux Center. Also performing in the drama were Jason Kornelis, Sioux Center, as Dr. Harvey Kelekian; Caleb Hayworth, Leon, IA, as Dr. Jason Posner; Ashley Laverman, Sully, IA, as nurse Susie Monahan; Becky Love, San Marcos, CA, as Bearing’s former professor; Nick Van Ee, Fox Lake, WI, as Bearing’s father. Playing supporting roles as students and lab technicians were Lisa Veurink, Mound, MN; Jonathan Posthuma, Brandon, WI, and Emily Huston, Winterset, IA. Stage manager for the show was Becky Lancaster, Cedar Rapids, IA; with Clare Laverman, Sully, IA, and Andrew Voss, Aplington, IA, as assistant stage managers.

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