Award-winning professor, performing arts design expert dies at 60

Share |
Photo of Greg D. Roehrick.

Greg D. Roehrick

KALAMAZOO—Greg D. Roehrick, a Western Michigan University professor of theatre who served as scenic designer for more than 125 University Theatre productions, died Feb. 25. He was 60.

Roehrick joined the WMU faculty in 1978 and taught design and technical production courses.  He served the Department of Theatre as director of design and technical production. He also served for many years as director of multimedia for the College of Fine Arts, overseeing the design of some two dozen events each year, ranging from concerts and dance productions to opera performances and art exhibitions.

Greg D. Roehrick

The winner in 1999 of a WMU Teaching Excellence Award, Roehrick also won the 1994 College of Fine Arts Outstanding Service Award and the 2008 College of Fine Arts Dean's Teaching Award. He was a member of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, and he was active in the use of computer imaging for theatre design, lighting and audio editing. A major focus of his teaching over the past two decades was to prepare his students to use such technology in their professional lives.

Roehrick's past design work included service as scenic director for the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival. He also consulted in the area of performing arts architecture, helping with the design of facilities in California, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. His local consulting projects included work on WMU's Dorothy U. Dalton Center and Irving S. Gilmore Theatre Complex, the Wellspring Theater in The Epic Center, the Union Cabaret & Grille and the 800-seat auditorium and support facilities at Kalamazoo Central High School.

Roehrick was a guest artist at Idyllwild (Calif.) Arts Academy, Interlochen (Mich.) Arts Academy and the Virginia School of the Arts in Lynchburg, Va. He also was a resident scenic and lighting designer for Festival Playhouse at Kalamazoo College and scenic designer for the New Horizon Theatre Company in Benton Harbor, Mich.

He earned a bachelor's degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., and a master's degree from Wayne State University, where he was a graduate fellow for two years with WSU's Hillbery Classic Repertory Theatre.

Remembrances

A family burial in Chippewa Falls, Wis., is planned. A date will be set in the near future for a WMU campus celebration of his life and career. Memorial donations be made in Roehrick's name to the WMU Department of Theatre.