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75th Anniversary: Alumni Profiles

Tom Bloom '71

Resident Scenic Designer for the Heritage Repertory Theatre. Scenic designer for the University of Michigan School of Music, Michigan Shakespeare Festival, Ballet Michigan/South Carolina Ballet, Opera Grand Rapids, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre and the Occidental Drama Festival in Los Angeles. His designs have been exhibited in Michigan and Indiana and will appear in the forthcoming 9th edition of Parker, Wolf, and Block's Scene Design and Stage Lighting. Held previous appointments at the University of Michigan-Flint and Occidental College, Los Angeles. He is a recipient of the State of Michigan Association of Governing Boards Distinguished Teaching Award and is a Fellow of the Teaching and Technology Initiative at the University of Virginia. As a member of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, he served as the vice commissioner for the USITT Scene Design Commission/Education.

Married to Betsy Beltman with three children—Molly (San Francisco, CA), Olivia (Brooklyn, NY), Jacob (UVa student, Charlottesville).


How has theatre influenced your life?

No doubt that the profile of the current class of Calvin theatre students is quite different than what it was when I joined Thespians in the fall of 1967. But this moment marked the time when I was awakened by new ideas that continue to shape how I look at things. For this, I'm deeply indebted to Ervina Boevé. And even though we appeared to be a rather homogenous lot—those student members of the Thespian organization with whom I worked along side of or partied heartily with were filled with a full range of human behaviors. I learned a great deal about tolerance and acceptance from this community of artists. I believe that the Boevés would call this an epiphany!


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Tom Blom '71
Graduation year

Major at Calvin

Further education
M.A. in theatre, University of Minnesota; Ph.D. in theatre, University of Michigan

Current occupation
Chair and associate professor, department of drama, University of Virginia