Rhett Luedtke, an associate professor of theatre, was one of only three faculty members chosen nationally to receive a National Directing Fellow Award from the John F. Kennedy Center. He is the only representative to receive the award from Region 7, a 10-state region that includes Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Northern California and Northern Nevada. The award recognizes and honors the contributions of directors to teaching and signifies exceptional work in the theatrical field.
Q&A with Rhett
What do you love about doing theatre at George Fox?
My greatest joy is watching our students grow in their craft as servant storytellers. Being part of a collective creative process is inspiring and reminds me of what can be accomplished in life when groups of people work together toward a common goal.
Who/what inspired you to get into theatre?
My parents took me to see a production of The Nutcracker when I was 6 years old. I enrolled in the local children’s dance company for boys four days later, and I’ve been performing or directing ever since. What keeps me inspired is the power of great stories that deal with the triumph of the human spirit in the face of turmoil and deep struggle.
Do you have an ultimate goal or hope with each show?
My prayer is that our students – and the audience members that come to see our shows – grow in their understanding of themselves and others by participating in an evening of theatre.
What is your most memorable GFU production and why?
Sophie Treadwell’s Expressionist show Machinal (fall 2005) was the most memorable show for me because it was the one production in which we decided not to worry about how our audience would react.
Your all-time favorite play? Actor?
My favorite play of all time is Pentecost by David Edgar because it raises great questions about terrorism, art and world economics in the 21st century. I have three favorite actors: It’s a tie between Phillip Seymour Hoffman for his great contemporary work, Patrick Stewart for his classical work, and Meryl Streep for her deep heart, compassion and intelligence.
One surprising fact about you:
I am the child of two wonderful Lutheran missionaries.
Dale Isaak, the university’s head athletic trainer and a professor in the school’s athletic training major, earned the Northwest Athletic Trainers’ Association’s Educator of the Year honor for 2010. The award goes to the best trainer-educator in the collegiate, high school and clinical sectors for NWATA District 10, which encompasses more than 1,200 athletic trainers in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.
This validates the work we’re doing here as a university, Isaak said.
I believe we received this because of the quality of our alumni working throughout the Northwest.
Biology professor John Schmitt has earned a life sciences grant that will fund breast cancer research on campus for the next two years. The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust approved the grant for the project
Vitamin D Regulation in Breast Cancer Cells. The proposed research will use contemporary cellular and molecular biology techniques, as well as biochemical approaches, to explore the ability of vitamin D to block breast cancer cell growth.
We appreciate the faith Murdock has shown us as we explore ways to prevent cancer – the second-leading cause of non-infectious deaths worldwide – and specifically, breast cancer, the most common form of cancer among women in the U.S., Schmitt said.
Teaching: Amy Dee, assistant professor of education and director of curriculum and assessment for the Master of Arts in Teaching program
Research and Scholarship: Mark McMinn, professor of psychology, author and speaker (see story)
Teaching: Rhett Luedtke, associate professor of theatre
Research and Scholarship: Paul Otto, professor of history