Dordt Theatre Arts Debuts New Space

Sioux Center, Iowa — Theatre majors at an institute of higher learning in Sioux County have a new space to call their own.

Dordt University’s Theatre Arts Department debuted their new building this fall. The new building includes a theatre space, scene shop, make-up room, classroom, offices, and a lobby and ticket area.

Dordt theatre arts professor and department chair Dr. Teresa Ter Haar, says that the modern feel and spaciousness of the new building, along with the beautiful finishes, change how the program looks and will have an impact on how they work. She says, “Already, we have noticed the ‘wow’ factor when we have visitors to the Theatre Arts Building.”

The new Fourth Avenue Theatre, a black box theatre, can hold 140 audience members, in contrast to 90 in the previous facility. The new theatre also allows for improved production lighting.

Ter Haar says that it is so large that they anticipate being able to perform the occasional mainstage performance in the black box.

The classroom is a flexible space that can hold classes and be used for choreography with mirrors and a special floor. It also has a large wall that can be used as a whiteboard to encourage collaboration on projects.

The new lobby space provides an area for welcoming patrons and is also used by students for studying and hanging out.

Students say it is “professional,” “stylish,” and “will drastically improve the experience for theatre students.”

The theatre department was previously located in the Douglas and Henrietta (Miedema) Ribbens Academic Complex. That space was converted into a new nursing education center.



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