Theatre department undergoes change

JoJo Brinkhoff
Entertainment Editor

As Amy Rand transferred to her new station as Associate Vice President of Information System, Services and Finance, the position for Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs became available. While reading an e-mail about how the Academic Affairs Department was looking for someone to fill as an interim, James (J.P.) Dickey, Fine Arts Division Chair and Theatre instructor, decided it was time for a change and applied for the position.

According to Dickey, he has spent about 13 years in the Elsie Plaster Community Center (EPCC), both teaching theatre classes and directing Crowder plays. Although Dickey had worked closely with the Academic Affairs Department, such as with the duel credit and the honors program, this will be the first position in the last 13 years that doesn’t involve the theatre department.

“I just like the challenges and the ability to work with all these talented folks over here that I worked with in the past,” Dickey said.

Dickey leaving the theatre department is not the only modification in the EPCC; in fact, there are several new faces and titles this semester.  Theatre instructor Drew Fethers is replacing Dickey as Theatre Department Head, making him Crowder’s new director and lead instructor for the theatre classes. Filling in as the second theatre instructor and acting program is Tasha O’Brien who recently received her master’s degree in Theatre.

Along with Fethers and O’Brien, Dickey named Keri Keckley, formal speech instructor, as Fine Arts Division Chair for the Theatre Department. Even though these people are excited about their new position, they will still miss Dickey being Theatre Department Head.

“Working with him day to day,” Fethers said. “We will continue to be [friends], but just not seeing him every day … will be different and will be missed.”

Theatre is not the only department in the EPCC building that has new faces. The music department has expanded its vocal and instrument classes for the students.  According to Keckley, when enough students express interests in a certain subject, the department will find instructors for that subject to come and give private lessons to the students.

The newest addition in the instruments is the woodwind lessons. Taught by Levi Randolph, students can learn saxophone, flute, clarinet and oboe. Another class that has been added in the last year is guitar with Rob Pommert.

In addition with these new instructors, Daryl Foster has been named as a second vocal instructor this semester.

“I’m glad we have Foster and I hope the woodwind instrument gets more students,” Clara Augustin, Music Major, said.