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Q&A with new faculty: Heather Sinclair

Heather Sinclair

Heather Sinclair

Randolph College’s 2018-19 academic year is officially underway, and there are several new faces among the faculty.

Heather Sinclair, technical director and instructor in theatre, is one of the new additions:

Where are you from originally and what is your background?

I was raised in Indiana, though I was born in California. I am a theatrical technical director, and I’ve known what I have wanted to do since I was 14. In high school, I was crazy active in the technical theatre classes and worked on every production I could get my hands on. I went to Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Theatre Design and Technology. After undergrad, I spent four years in the field working my way up from intern to draftsman at various companies from Texas to Maine. I earned my Masters of Fine Arts, specializing in Technical Direction, at Kent State University, in Kent Ohio. My specific areas of focus include theatrical engineering, drafting, carpentry, and properties. Working at Randolph is my first full-time teaching post.

What attracted you to the job at Randolph?

The size of the school was a big draw. I knew that I didn’t want to start out at large university, and I was looking for a program where I could act more as a mentor in a one-on-one capacity. The facilities are really outstanding for the size of the college. The atmosphere between the faculty/staff and the students was very encouraging, and I dug the vibe.

What classes are you teaching this fall?

I am teaching Stagecraft and working with lab students in the scene shop.

Describe your teaching style. What can students expect out of your classes?

This is a hard question. I use a philosophy that creates a safe place for risks. I believe that students learn best, with such a hands-on field as theatre, when they are in an environment that allows them a safe place to take risks. The idea is that students are encouraged do something different, and if they don’t succeed, then they can build on that experience and do it better next time. This field requires critical thinking and bringing together theories of study in a new way to fit the production or the technical aspect. I believe that learning technical theatre should be fun, challenging, exciting, and a bit weird.

What are your initial impressions of Randolph and its students?

Generally the main impression is caring. It is evident that the faculty and staff and administration care about the students and their education. The interaction I have witnessed from student to student is one of respect and pride and acceptance.

What sorts of hobbies or fun activities do you enjoy outside of the classroom?

I love to read. At lunch or dinner or any down time, I’ll be reading a book. I also am an avid moviegoer. I tend to see two to three movies a month, dependent on if they look good or not. Every week I try to make at least one new food dish. Cooking and baking are great stress reducers. I like to hike, go to museums and zoos, and play with my cats. I play the cello, though I don’t practice as much as I should.

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