Megan Westhoff has been chosen as the new director of theater at Pittsburg State University, which includes the academic program and the company known as Pitt State Theatre.
“I’m excited and terrified at the same time,” Westhoff said.
Westhoff will now manage season planning and budgeting. She will work with undergraduate and graduate students in the academic program which provides a theater emphasis for students majoring in communication and prepares for work in the performing arts industry.
“I think bringing… quality theater performances to our audiences as well as educating our students to be able to go out into the field and to be able to produce a diverse amount of work I think is what’s really exciting,” Westhoff said. “I think we have a conflicting and challenging time that we’re dealing with right now that we still haven’t really figured out and theater hasn’t figured out as we’re trying to deal with the coronavirus and keeping our students safe, our audiences safe. So, I think that’s kind of mixed emotions of it’s exciting and terrifying because we’re living through experiences we’ve never experienced before…”
Westhoff is replacing Cynthia Allan who has directed the program and company since 1999 and will retire at the end of June.
“I am so pleased that Megan Westhoff will now be the director of theater,” Allan told the Pitt State marketing and communication department. “I have loved working with all these wonderful collaborators, and I know she will maintain the artistic vision of Pitt State Theatre.”
Westhoff has taught in the communication department at Pitt State for 15 years and prior to that earned her bachelors and master’s degrees at PSU. Furthermore, Westhoff earned a PhD at Regent University.
“…I got my bachelors and masters from Pitt and I have a lot of great memories from my time as a student and I think that’s one of the things that when I had the opportunity to apply for a job I thought, ‘Okay, there’s no better place,” Westhoff said. “It has always felt like home to me and it’s always felt like I belonged but also its challenged me to grow and figure out who I am and also figure out how I can contribute back to the community because I think that’s a really important aspect in the community relationship between the University and the city of Pittsburg and I think that’s always been something that’s inspired me to not only just think of myself within the confines of the university and that’s something that was instilled in me as an undergraduate student and something that I hope to inspire in other students as well… I did theater by the lake when I was an undergrad and that was an awesome experience and then we did a lot of productions at Memorial Auditorium before we got the Bicknell. So, it was kind of cool to be able to see all of the diversity and experiences… because you don’t really get that in large programs, you get that in smaller liberal arts programs when you get to be on stage as a freshman if you want to be, you can be behind the scenes and you get to work in a lot of different things immediately rather than kind of waiting until you’re a junior or senior to get those experiences.”