Tetta Askeland
Assistant Professor of Theatre, Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall, Minnesota
Tetta Askeland

On set

Tetta transferred to Northwestern at the beginning of her junior year, but she felt a part of Northwestern’s community long before that. Prior to attending NWC, Tetta joined her friends (who were NWC students) in eating meals and socializing at Northwestern theatre professors’ homes. She was impressed by the care and camaraderie of the NWC faculty—and her feelings on that didn’t change once she enrolled. Inspired by her Northwestern teachers, Tetta went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree from Kent State University.

Why did you transfer to Northwestern?
I transferred after completing my sophomore year because Northwestern was able to meet me where I was at in life. The people at Northwestern reminded me that I am worthy of love and that I am enough in Christ. I felt welcome at Northwestern before I even transferred. I was invited to some professors' home, along with friends who were students at Northwestern at the time, for meals at Thanksgiving and Easter. I also enjoyed a movie night with friends at another professor’s home. I ultimately chose Northwestern because of the unconditional love and welcome I felt from Northwestern’s theatre faculty.

Why did you decide to pursue a degree in theatre?
I believe the world needs storytellers who speak truth into the world, especially stories of joy and redemption.

Tell us about your job responsibilities at SMSU.
I oversee the areas of scenic, lighting, sound, stage management, properties and technical direction. I am responsible for designing and creating all technical elements for the mainstage productions at SMSU as well as mentoring our student designers in either mainstage or student-run productions. I also teach Stage Management, Lighting/Sound Design, Stagecraft, Scenic Design, a first-year seminar course, Film and TV Appreciation, Theatre Appreciation, and Professional Aspects. During my time at SMSU I have also had the pleasure of writing grants to start an update to the theatre facilities. Currently we are the most up-to-date and safest scenic studio in the Minnesota state system.

How did your Northwestern education prepare you for this career?
Northwestern gave me a strong foundation in theatre. The highly qualified and well-rounded educators make learning engaging and worthwhile. Every day, Northwestern theatre professors challenge you to be your best in the classroom. Classes at Northwestern not only cover the basics, but also go in-depth and explore the details that excite students who really love theatre. The focus on detail helped make me a better artist and student. I felt prepared and ahead in graduate school because of the extensive knowledge Northwestern faculty and staff members shared with me.

How would you describe Northwestern professors?
Invested. Northwestern professors care about you as a student and are always willing to talk, both inside and outside of the classroom. They excel in bringing out the best qualities in you as a student and follower of Christ. I appreciated how personal my Northwestern education was. I had small classes, which meant my professors knew me, my interests and my aspirations.

Tell us about community life at Northwestern.
The community at Northwestern is beyond words. Everyone learns, worships, creates and experiences the power of Christ together. It’s hard to find anything better than that.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time at NWC?
I loved “family dinner” nights at my apartment. Once a week, people would cram into my apartment so we could enjoy meals, watch movies and play board games together. We shared many laughs, joys and memories.