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75th Anniversary: Alumni Profiles

Teresa TerHaar '93

Theatre is still a huge part of my life! Since graduating from Calvin in 1993, I received my MA and PhD in theatre from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. My areas of specialization are performance studies and theatre pedagogy. I taught for three years at Calvin and then two years at Trinity Christian College in Chicago.

At Trinity, I started a theatre program, writing curriculum and helping with the planning for a new Communication and Art Center (which includes a theatre). I moved to northwest Iowa after marrying a fellow Calvin grad, Dan Young. I'm presently starting my fourth year teaching theatre at Dordt College. Yes, great theatre happens in the cornfields of Iowa!

My husband and I are the proud parents of Katherine Lisl, born January 4, 2008. She is quite the "drama baby," especially when she gets upset.

I teach, direct, mentor students, and try to fit in some scholarship around the edges. My commitment to integrating my faith into my theatre practice has only grown stronger over the years. Teaching at a reformed institution like Dordt challenges me every day to make my faith explicit in all areas of my work.

My passion for theatre was solidified during my years at Calvin thanks to faculty members like Patricia VandenBerg, Jim Korf, and Debra Freeberg. I believe it was the wonderful mentoring that I received that helped instill in me such a strong desire to mentor students myself. I carry many memories of Calvin Theatre with me from both my tenure as a student and as a faculty member. I will never forget the first moment that "the sails" (large pieces of fabric which served as projections screens) actually worked in Still Life With Iris, the children's theatre production I directed. It was pure joy. I'll also never forget the first rehearsal of A Dream Play—seeing the stage full of cast members. It was probably the largest cast that I have ever been a part of.

Interestingly, my favorite memory isn't from a production. It also didn't happen during my time in Calvin Theatre. During my first year of grad school, I took a theatre history class. The first day, the professor asked us to raise our hands if we had read the plays as he read them off the syllabus. After he finished, I had raised my hand for each play, but one. To me, that moment encapsulates the wonderful education I received at as a theatre student at Calvin.


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Teresa TerHaar '93
Graduation Year


Calvin Major
Art, education

Further Education
MA and PhD in theatre from Bowling Green University

Favorite Roles/Crews
Indra's Daughter in Dream Play (role of a lifetime)

Favorite crew
SMORG for Loves Labors Lost

Quirky fact
I am "owned" by two parrots

Advice to actors