Making the Curtain Call

By Veronika Wooten ‘16


Henry Loughman is entering his eighth academic year as the Resident Instructor of Theater at Pacific Lutheran University.

Loughman teaches a stage production class, and is also directly involved with the production process of the theater department.

Loughman prepares for class in the scene shop.
Credit: Veronika Wooten

Katie Curtis ‘14, senior, is a current stage production student. She has observed his maneuvers firsthand during a recent work day at the scene shop. “I only saw Henry once in the beginning when we started”, she said. “He was overseeing everything, helping others and making sure everything gets done”. She said that the environment seemed quite stressful.

Loughman has taken on the role of concierge and nothing happens during the production process without his knowledge. He provides the actors and directors with the tools they need to be successful.He said that his job is to ensure all set constructions are safe and flawless. “Every detail needs to be exact”, he said.

Over the years, theater has fostered his true passion, which is teaching. In the scene shop, he teaches all technical crew members how to build, mold, paint and work as a team.
Under his supervision, students exercise autonomy. Loughman gives them the opportunity to attain the mindset necessary to survive in the real world.

“This is the best job I ever had”, he said Some of the other positions he has occupied includes a five-year tour in the Navy as an Operations Specialist and bartending.

 Through the Lens: Loughman’s College years

While working as a bartender in Delaware, an associate mentioned her interest in theater. He said that this particular moment instigated the thought of possibly declaring theater as his major. “I immediately recognized my own interest in theater during the conversation and since I always liked television, I decided to do it”.

This was the beginning of his current 27 years in the profession. One of his most memorable moments occurred during his third year in graduate school. Loughman attended a television production course while enrolled at San Diego State University.

For an assignment, he had the distinct opportunity to interview Garvin Eddy, a producer at Carsey Werner Productions. “I mean this was a busy guy and here I was a college student and I spent about 45 minutes with him for an interview”, he said.

Carsey Werner was a Los Angeles based production company that produced renowned shows such as The Cosby Show and Roseanne. He traveled to Los Angeles and conducted the interview on the set of the comedy series 3rd Rock from the Sun.

“It was interesting. I saw John Lithgow on the set and Joseph Gordon Levitt, who was only a teenager at the time”, he said.

Loughman consults with students after class. Credit: Veronika wooten

Loughman consults with students after class.
Credit: Veronika Wooten

Now that the recently renovated Karen Hille Phillips center is fully operational and the premiere show is over, Loughman said he wants to focus on getting acquainted with the new building. The renovation was necessary to better meet the demands of the students and PLU Community, as the old facility was outdated.

Loughman has been designated to organize the new space, which will not be easy. “We have new people within the department, a new facility and new demands“, he said.

Whereas others are motivated by their need for recognition,he said intrinsic values motivate him to get the job done.

 “My integrity drives me. I want to do good work”.Loughman is an integral part of the PLU community and a prime example of how selfless devotion can help others succeed.

Categories: Profiles

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