Rend Lake College Associate Art Professor Therese Howard has jumped on her students’ bandwagon. As many of them near graduation in the spring, so does she.
Howard is on course to graduate this spring from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale with a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Set Design. This is her second master’s degree.; her first was a Master of Science in Education Degree in Community College Education, also from SIU-C.
As part of her graduation requirements, Howard is working on her thesis show, "The Lady From the Sea," which opened the first week of December at McLeod Theater on the SIU-C campus.
Howard said RLC is trying to expand its existing theater program. Currently, students are either in RLC’s plays or are helping out backstage. However, Howard said she hopes to see new courses develop which will allow students to learn how to get a production started.
"There are lots of processes that the students don’t always know about," Howard said. Howard has worked with many of Rend Lake College’s plays in recent years, designing and painting several of the sets.
Howard said college officials will have to decide how best to utilize her abilities after she graduates. She hopes she and RLC Theater Instructor Tracey Webb will be able to co-teach new theater classes, such as Theater Tech.
"The reason for these new classes would be to teach students this labor," said Howard. "There’s more to theater than just acting."
Webb said Howard has been a great help with her productions by designing sets and painting. Adding new classes after Howard receives her new degree will allow RLC students to "get some hands-on experience by working on the set," Webb said.
"The future’s looking bright," said Webb.
Howard has spent countless hours working on the sets for "The Lady From the Sea." She said she also was responsible for conducting all research for the play, which was written by Henik Ibsen and focuses on a woman’s right to choose her own destiny, Howard said.
Performances will be held at McLeod Theater at SIU-C at 7:30 p.m. December 4-6 and at 2 p.m. December 7. For ticket information, contact the SIU-C Box Office between noon and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or one hour before each performance at (618) 453-3001.
For more information, contact Howard at (618) 437-5321, Ext. 1747.