Frodo and Sam, Lewis and Clark, Bill and Ted—throughout time, traveling far distances has formed and cemented relationships where one has previously been lacking. Though the drive to Dordt College is only twelve minutes, the distance of the “Friends Don’t Let Friend’s Go to Dordt” mentality is much larger. This is no distance, however, that a 10-hour drive to Denver, Colo. couldn’t mend.
“Wherever there’s a chance to reconnect it is important, because the divisions are unnecessary,” said theatre professor Dr. Bob Hubbard, in reference to the theatre department’s recent journey with Dordt to the American College Theatre Festival. And ACTF provided just this chance.
The chance for Dordt and Northwestern theatre students to begin to develop a relationship did not end with conversations and Phase 10 or UNO playing during the lengthy drive out there. It continued throughout the week as students took the opportunity to support each other during competitions, wait in rush lines and attend shows and workshops together.
In addition, Dordt was one of seven plays invited to perform their production. The production, “All My Sons”, allowed NW students to assist in the dirty work of hauling, setting up and finally striking the giant Dordt set. NW faculty and students were glad to help with this work.
“We loved being involved with Dordt’s work and to celebrate for them,” said sophomore Sarah Grace Harpster.
Through these shared experiences, students realized that they would like to continue this work with students who share their passion for theatre, especially students that are located so close to each other.
“After working together…we would like to collaborate more on projects throughout the year because we enjoyed that time,” said sophomore Cassie Mings.
Senior Tanya Chapin agreed: “I think we started to realize that we need to support one another, be there for each other.”
Hubbard and his wife April, a theatre professor at Dordt, would also like to see more support and collaboration between the two departments, possibly through uniting on a longer script that takes a couple nights to see and perform.
Already, since ACTF, Dordt and NW students have seized opportunities to support or simply spend time with students from the opposite department. Dordt students recently traveled to the new theatre building, to support the RUSH dance project.
The Friday after ACTF, the Dordt coffee shop hosted a monologue night, which allowed students to perform monologues, scenes or improvisations, read poetry, sing a song or simply chat with new and old friends.
“I think to some extent it helped to solidify our relationship—that ACTF isn’t all there is, that the relationship didn’t have to end there,” said Harpster.