Noah Thomas '04
Calvin has certainly left its indelible mark upon me. My life after Calvin has been a pendulum that swings between three poles: marriage, theology and art. They are all inextricably intertwined of course. At Covenant Seminary, I have strengthened the foundation of Reformed thinking, but I still pursue the same artistic goals. I hope to bring all my theological learning to bear in my work. Understanding the Bible in dramatic terms has also opened it up in new ways. As for Calvin, not enough good things can be said about the quality of Theatre folks in such a small program. I still have inside jokes from that time in my life, and I remember it almost as an ideal for how life should be.
My faith has clearly played a huge role in my life. While I was at Calvin, I experienced a definite spiritual family in Calvin Theatre Company. They fulfilled certain roles as mother (Doc, a mother to all of us), father (David Leugs, believe it or not) and sibs (all my CTC friends). More than simply a theatre community in which gossip typically prevails, I found belonging. I had been somewhat outcast in high school, and I felt as if I had come into my own and could live as myself without being self-conscious. After only a month or so, it became clear that CTC was to be my niche at Calvin. However, it was more than a niche. We would meet weekly and share our needs, praying for each other, and close most times by singing the doxology. I treasure that time.
My three best friends and my wife all came from the CTC community. I still keep up with those close friends, visiting them from time to time, because we share something very special. I met my wife Dianna through this community also. There is something about the theatre community that is very special when it comes to communicating and maintaining friendships. I recently ran into a CTC friend I hadn’t seen in four years and it was business as usual as soon as we sat down at a pub.
One of my favorite memories of CTC is being cast in several plays as the title role, sometimes without a single line of dialogue. In Ionesco’s The Leader, I played the eponymous Leader, who appeared at the end of the play, sans head—no lines. I was also the Man in the Basement in The Man in The Basement by Arlene Hutton. Seeing my own play performed in the first 24 Hour Theatre was a pretty wild experience too. And probably my proudest moment is being involved with the SMORG for As It Is In Heaven, a tremendous play … to make fun of; and we got to perform this complete farce in front of the playwright herself. But probably the most important times for me were the intimate times that most did not see; personal support from very caring professors who really became friends instead of just instructors.
Currently, I am the Coordinator of Theatre for the Chapel, a non-profit arts venue in St. Louis. I will be graduating from Covenant Theological Seminary with a Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS). I have never lost sight of my love of theatre, and have pursued a degree in theology in order to inspire and inform my writing; I am compelled to add a Reformed perspective to the arts world. I plan to continue working within the matrix of theology and theatre for quite some time, engaging contemporary culture on its own terms.
Advice for theatre students
Please please please stick in there! Theatre is so worth it. There is nothing else like it. Even if you don’t think you have particular “theatrical” talents or skills, you can always find a home in the theatre. Every life skill you would utilize at another job will come in handy here, whether it’s marketing or engineering or drawing, making music or reading philosophy, or even if you’re interested in Film. Theatre encompasses all these things, so jump in!