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Department Spotlight

Whitworth Theatre Alumni Hone Skills in Distinguished Graduate Programs

Whitworth alumni Joel Hobson, Nathan Tomsheck, and Brooke Kiener are making their mark in distinguished graduate theatre programs across the United States.

Tomsheck, class of '00, is currently in the graduate program in technical design and production at Yale University. The highly competitive three-year interdisciplinary program has an exceptional record for advancing the theatre careers of its graduates.

Hobson, '99, was recently accepted into the Master of Fine Arts in Technical Theatre Program at the University of Idaho. The rigorous, 24-month program works closely with the Idaho Repertory Theatre, which is the university's professional resident theatre company. Hobson, who for the last two years was the technical and lighting designer for the Des Moines Playhouse in Des Moines, Iowa, has been invited to design sets for the Idaho Repertory Theatre.

"Joel and Nate demonstrated unique abilities in technical design and construction as Whitworth students," says Whitworth Theatre Professor Rick Hornor, '70. "We very rarely ask students to take full responsibility for technical demands for Whitworth's Main Stage productions, but at various times both Nate and Joel designed lights and/or sets for Whitworth plays."

Kiener, '99, "consistently created and expressed solid characters when acting at Whitworth," Hornor says. "She is one of those rare actors who can master the comic as well as the serious."

Kiener's skills secured her acceptance at New York University, where she is enrolled in the graduate program in theatre education. The program combines education and theatre and trains teachers as artists and artists as teachers. Teachers from preschool to college level take part in the program, where they learn new drama-based teaching strategies.

"Joel, Nate and Brooke were superior students in their abilities to think critically, solve problems creatively, and take advantage of every opportunity we provided them," Hornor says.

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