About Us

Mission Statement:

The Bethany Lutheran College Theatre Department strives to nurture and support the development of exemplary and well-rounded theatre artists who are able to employ their creative and academic gifts with wisdom, discernment, and an understanding of art’s potential as a gift of God. A distinctively personal, Christ-centered approach to instruction in the theatre arts is the foundation of the department’s existence. Students are encouraged to apply their knowledge academically, philosophically, and creatively, through classroom engagements, theatrical productions, and other specialized projects.

 


Faculty and Staff:

peterPeter Bloedel

Peter has worked in the theater department at Bethany Lutheran College for twenty years. In that time he has directed or technically directed over 60 shows. He is the originator of Bethany’s annual vaudeville revue Theatre Physics which celebrated 20 years of in the fall of 2013. He recently wrote and directed the play Life Coach, in the Sig Lee Theater on Bethany’s campus. Other full-length plays written by Bloedel include: the Minnesota based comedy Icehouse Madrigals, and Jam Jar Sonnets. Other published one-act plays by Bloedel include: The Seussification of A Midsummer Night’s Dream,  One-Act Rhymes for Bible Times,  A Seussified Christmas Carol,  A Play With Words,  The Rules of Comedy,  and The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet, which has the distinction of being performed over 1500 times world-wide. heypete.biz

benjiBenji Inniger

Benji served as a Bethany adjunct faculty member from 2006-2010 and began as a full-time professor in the spring of 2012. Also at Bethany, Benji has designed sound and/or composed the music for over 80 productions and cowrote the musical Jam Jar Sonnets with fellow faculty member Peter Bloedel. Benji also works as a freelance sound designer, recently designing for productions at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, Trinity Repertory Company, Brown University, and The Guthrie Theater. He also works as a composer for commercials, video games, and media projects. hearbenji.com

jakeJake Yenish

Yenish has been designing stage lighting on the Bethany stage for the last fifteen years, including such productions as Jam Jar Sonnets and Romeo and Juliet. Other notable work have been several new light designs including Mint at Minnesota State University Mankato and Life Boat at PCPA Theaterfest in California’s central coast.

emilyEmily Kimball

Emily has worked as the Costume Designer and Shop Coordinator since 2012. Since graduating from Bethany in 2010 with a Theatre degree, she’s worked at Meadowbrook Theatre in Rochester, MI as a costume shop intern and at the New London Barn Playhouse in New London, NH in the summers, beginning as an intern, later as the costume shop manager, and most recently a designer. Productions she designed include Over the Pub in 2014 and Steel Magnolias in 2015. She also was a costume assistant in Chicago for the pre-Broadway run of On Your Feet, a musical about the lives of Gloria and Emilio Estefan.

As a student at Bethany, she was involved on stage in productions such as Dancing at Lughnasa, Hay Fever, Jam Jar Sonnets, and Tartuffe. Later she discovered her love of costuming and playwriting and her play, Child of Grace, was performed at Bethany in the fall of 2010.

Emily is currently pursuing an MFA in Costume Design at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She recently designed costumes for The Miracle Worker and Neil Simon’s Rumors.

Emily likes to knit and longs for the day when she can get a dog.

johnJohn Merseth

John Merseth, Jr. has worked at Bethany, in the theatre department since 2007. Serving as the technical director for 35 shows, and scenic designer for 7 shows, 2 of which received awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, Region 5. He also serves as Scene Shop Supervisor.

Facility:

Bethany’s 288-seat Sigurd K. Lee Theater is large enough for a variety of shows and other functions, yet small enough to maintain a comfortable feel. You won’t be too far from the action no matter where you sit.

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