Faculty Spotlight: Prof. Jenny Tibbels

If you directed a play, the first thing you would consider is how to tell your story. Our Director of Theater at Eastern University believes the story is told through the characters, and an actor has to enter into the mindset of their character for the story to flow naturally. I have never met a director who puts more focus into the characters than Professor Tibbels.

I decided to try out for the spring play because I wanted to explore what it means to be an actor. I had the privilege of meeting Professor Tibbels in Actors’ Lab, and I remember how welcoming both she and the environment were. During the lab, we did improvisation and acting games, came up with ideas for the spring play, and grew as individuals, while connecting with other people through stories.

Professor Tibbels received a Bachelor’s Degree at Eastern University. She moved on to graduate with a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from Columbia University. Her former acting teacher directed her attention back to EU for the open position of Acting Director. Professor Tibbels has been acting for 23 years; she reflects, “acting is where I belong.” During her studies at Columbia, she dreamed of being a full-time actress, but later decided to pursue a larger role in the theatrical process, so she took on directing and teaching roles during her three years at graduate school at Columbia. “I have a heart for telling a larger story as a director, because you get to be a part of the cast,” she explains. “You are involved with the production of lights, meeting with costume designers, and choosing the music.” Her journey with Christ has led her to consider how “faith and art complement each other.” She thought, just as God is a creator, she could be one too. She wants people to know the truth: it is good to express your emotions, and through that expression, a play can reveal God’s glory.

I have the privilege of being in Prof. Tibbels’ spring play production, Rhinoceros. This absurdist comedy, written by French playwright Eugene Ionesco, captures and critiques a society’s view on men and monsters.

Prof. Tibbels has a great passion for helping others and seeing them grow through her directing position. Her choice to journey with God deeply impacts the lives of her students. Professor Tibbels is an outstanding person, and we are fortunate to have her at Eastern University.


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