July 19, 2012 | 8 a.m.
By Nicole Finsaas '14
After graduating, theatre majors Angela Van Epps ’10 and Brianna Kalisch ’09 knew they wanted to continue working in theatre. What they didn’t know was that several other Bethel students were working towards the same goal. “After discovering that other students in the theatre department wanted the same thing, we created a group officially named ‘Ǽðem,’ which is an old English word meaning ‘to breathe out’ that is often used to describe inspiration, similar to how God breathed life into Adam,” says Van Epps. Ǽðem Theatre Company consists of more than 10 Bethel alumni and other Twin City guest actors and actresses.
The Ǽðem Theatre Company produced their first full-length show in August 2011: sorry i missed you.The show was so successful that the group began work on their second full-length production: Before. After. Never., a show inspired by Peter Pan. The production explores the darker side of Peter Pan and what happens after Neverland. According to Ǽðem’s website, “Each character’s journey, though fictional, contains universal themes and modern struggles that Ǽðem hopes will connect with the audience.”
Kayla Hambek ’10, playwright of Before. After. Never., says, “This has been one of the most difficult and most rewarding experiences of my life…” Brendan Veerman ’10 agrees. “It is an immense commitment that is not without its struggles…” he says. “We do try and remember that ultimately everything we do is for God’s glory. I have zero doubts that He gets us through each and every day of this crazy process.” The show debuted in May.
Hambek and Veerman say the theatre department at Bethel has impacted Ǽðem Theatre Company. “The Bethel theatre department teaches a solid basic skill set in regards to show production, and I didn’t fully realize the value of that until I began to use it in the professional world,” says Hambek.
“Bethel’s theatre department equipped all of us with skills that we are utilizing every day,” says Veerman. “They also inspired some of our ideology about how faith and theatre interact.”
Check online for upcoming performances by the Ǽðem Theatre Company.