Faculty Spotlight: Mindy Maples

By: Sadie Woodruff

Mindy Maples is a brand-new professor here at Trine in the Communications and Theatre Department. Maples has spent the last ten years adjunct teaching communication and theatre courses at a few university programs such as Spring Arbor University and Kellogg Community College. Besides working in collegiate theatre, she has also taught K-12 drama, music, and English for several years while also directing shows for schools, churches, and community theaters. Her most recent directing tasks were The Importance of Being Earnest at Spring Arbor University, and the musicals Willy Wonka and State Fair with Concord Area Players in Concord, MI. 

Maples is looking forward to putting all of her energy into one program, especially at Trine and with the student talent found here. New plans for the Theatre Department are in the works; one significant change will be the theatre minor.

“We’re planning to make a few changes to the theatre minor here at Trine,” Professor Maples said, “Students will be asked to take 15 credits. The courses will provide students with context, theory, and practical application. Some of the courses a student might take to complete the minor are Directing, Costume and Make-Up Design, Acting, and Play Production. Both theatre minors and theatre scholarship recipients will also be asked to take a Theatre Practicum every semester. It is a one-credit course that helps effectively log the hours that students contribute toward each production. Students may also audit the Theatre Practicum course if they so choose.”

In addition to the theatre minor changes, Maples would like to introduce student-directed one act plays each year, as well as a full-length play every fall and a musical every spring for the next 40-50 years!

“Hopefully, after the first of the year, we will be able to resume rehearsals for the musical 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, depending upon the Covid-19 situation. Gratefully, both Alyssa Newbill and Jen LaRose have agreed to continue partnering with me as the Music Director and Choreographer. Ideally, we would perform this show at the end of April 2021,” Professor Maples said.

Up next for the Theatre Department is ‘On Broadway!’ The show is a combination of monologues and musical solos from around 20 students on Friday, Oct. 30th, in the T. Furth Performing Arts Center. The capacity of T. Furth is 250 due to coronavirus restrictions. Trine’s Music and Theatre Departments are partnering together to produce this show and working with Josh Hornbacher to live stream the event.