The Voice: Spring 2002
Dordt theatre people bring home four ACTF awards
By Andrew De Young
The theatre arts department at Dordt has always been appreciated by students and
faculty, but it often receives broader recognition for excellence as well. This happened
most recently when Esther Van Eek, Mark Jansen, and Eric Van Wyk received
awards at the American College Theatre Festival (ACTF) Regional Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska.
According to Simon du Toit, chair of the theatre arts department, the ACTF
is a festival that celebrates the best in college theater. Representatives for the
festival attend plays at different colleges, discussing the plays with the cast, director,
and others who were involved with the play. Each representative can nominate the
best work to go to the festival. According to du Toit, Only the
very best work gets nominated.
This year, Eric Van Wyk and Mark Jansen both won Meritorious Achievement Awards.
Van Wyk, a senior theater major from Sioux Center, won for scene design
on The Glass Menagerie, and Jansen, a sophomore music major from Tucson, Arizona,
won for sound design, also on The Glass Menagerie. According to Jansen, It
really gives me a good sense of accomplishment. This was the first thing
I ever did for a play, and the fact that I won on
the first time really is a confidence-booster!
Also taking home awards was Esther Van Eek, the costume designer for the
theatre arts department. She won two awards, one for her work in A
Strindberg Evening and another for her work in Scapin. Its a really nice
boost, she says. Its great to get recognition from my colleagues.
Du Toit says that she has good reason to be proud. To win
two in one year is very unusual. I cant remember that ever happening
before. For a small college like Dordt to walk away with four awards
is truly amazing.
But Dordt doesnt participate in the ACTF just for the awards. There are
also great benefits for Dordt students. According to du Toit, Its great for
our students to be exposed to the achievement and accomplishments of other schools.
They can really be challenged and inspired by all the good work out
Its not just Dordt students who benefit, though. People from other colleges also
benefit from interacting with Dordt students and faculty. At this years festival, du
Toit moderated a panel on acting and faith. Its good to talk to
people who arent necessarily Christians, he says. This was not a mission trip,
but we were sharing the light. It is not only possible to be
Christian and excellent in theater, it is essential. God requires us to be
excellent in theater.
Eric Van Wyks set design for The Glass Menagerie won a Meritorious Achievement
Award at the Regional ACTF Fesival.