Viterbo University Strides Magazine Online

New Faces in Theatre 

Viterbo University bid a fond farewell at the end of last semester to former theatre professor and ’87 alumnus Dean Yohnk, who accepted a teaching position at UW-Parkside in Kenosha. And, recently, the school and theatre department welcomed three new faces to campus.

New theatre professor David Gardiner (above left) has extensive teaching experience in a variety of venues. For the past three years, he has taught at Rhode Island University. He has also taught at the University of Florida, the Danish State Conservatory, the Norwegian State Centre for Film Studies, Show og Teater Skole in Copenhagen, and ARTTS International in York, England. At the same time, he has maintained an active professional life as an actor and director, having worked at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Denmark’s Mussik Teater, the Young Vic in London, Citizens Theatre in Glasgow, Arizona Theatre Company, the Long Wharf, and Oregon Shakespeare. Gardiner will be teaching directing courses, a course in Acting Shakespeare, and he will direct The Crucible next year.

Another new face in theatre is Rick Walters (above center), who has been teaching acting and scene study at the Guthrie Theatre and the Academy for Film and Television in Minneapolis for the past three years. With extensive experience in theatre, industrials, and commercials, Walters has performed at the Guthrie, the Indiana Repertory Theatre, Penumbra Theatre, Park Square Theatre, and the Empty Space. He will teach acting courses and direct this season’s Black Box production of Brighton Beach Memoirs.

Rod Reiner (above right) has joined the fine arts staff as a full-time dance teacher and choreographer. Most recently, Reiner was in Nashville where he served as deputy director of the Tennessee Arts Commission. Prior to that experience, he was a freelance choreographer and dancer on Broadway, off-Broadway, and on national television—including a five-year stint choreographing for the Opryland U.S.A. theme park. His work is familiar to many since he also choreographed the Country Music Awards television shows for a number of years. At Viterbo, Reiner will teach the full complement of dance courses, redesign the dance curriculum, and choreograph the Into the Woods production this October.