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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 10, 2009 at 3:21 PM

WWU professor under fire

Many former students doing well

The article about Western Washington University drama professor Perry Mills was woefully one-sided [“Professor says he provokes, but others call it abusive.” page one, June 9]. The reporter failed to interview students who are supportive of Mills, of which there are many.

Theatre is an extremely difficult business, yet WWU students have had great success in part due to Mills. Below is a short list of former students of Mills who have worked professionally in theater:

Braden Abraham, associate artistic director at Seattle Rep (and frequent director of shows there and elsewhere);

Alycia Delmore, longtime local actress who recently appeared in “Hump Day,” which was an award winner at Sundance;

Barzin Akhavan, professional actor who has been featured in plays across the country including Seattle Rep, San Jose Rep and is currently starring in the play adaptation of “Kite Runner”;

Galen Joe Osier, local actor who recently starred in “Crime & Punishment” at Intiman Theatre;

Jon Lutyens, local Seattle actor;

Jason Martin, published playwright.

And that’s just off the top of my head. These are not English/psychology/education majors who took a theater class here and there. These are theater majors who had Mills as a professor in multiple classes. They are working professionals.

I humbly suggest you interview one of them, or myself. I spent eight years as a professional actor/director. Please do your research before defaming a professor without the whole story.

— Jan van Amerongen, Class of 1998, BA Theatre Arts, Seattle

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