At church recently, I had an interesting conversation after the service with a banker here in Sioux Center.
New Theatre building provides upgrades and additional space
Dordt University’s Theatre Arts Department debuted their new building this fall. The new building includes a theatre space, scene shop, make-up room, classroom, offices, and a lobby and ticket area. “The modern feel and spaciousness of the newbuilding, along with the beautiful finishes, change how our program looks and will have an impact on how we work,” says Dr. Teresa Ter Haar, a theatre arts professor and department chair. “Already, we have noticed the ‘wow’ factor when we have visitors to the Theatre Arts Building. ”The new Fourth Avenue Theatre, a black box theatre, can hold 140 audience members, in contrast to 90 inthe previous facility. The new theatre also allows for improved production lighting. “It is so large that we anticipate being able to perform the occasional mainstage performance in the black box, ”says Ter Haar. The classroom is a flexible space that can hold classes and be used for choreography with mirrors and a special floor. It also has a large wall that can be used as a whiteboard to encourage collaboration on projects. “The new space will drastically improve the experience for theatre students,” says David Skinner, a theatre student. The new lobby space provides an area for welcoming patrons and is also used by students for studying and hanging out. “It's such a professional and stylish looking place for our audience members to visit and our students to work in, ”says Kaitlyn Baljeu, theatre student. The theatre department was previously located in the Douglas and Henrietta (Miedema) Ribbens Academic Complex, but that space was converted into a new nursing education center.