Arts and Living Editor
On Friday, Sept. 18, theater students received an email stating that Dr. Richard St. Peter, assistant professor of theater, had resigned from Northwestern State University due to a university related matter.
“As this is a personnel matter, I can tell you that Dr. St. Peter submitted a letter of resignation and it was accepted by the University,” said Human Resources Director Veronica Biscoe.
Scott Burrell, director of the Mrs. H.D. Dear Sr. and Alice E. Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts, could not comment on the reason St. Peter resigned.
“CAPA wishes Dr. St. Peter well in his future endeavors,” Burrell said. “The University and CAPA are excited about the prospects of finding a replacement and continuing the educational excellence of the NSU Theater and Dance program.”
Brett Garfinkel, department chair of theater and dance, also could not comment on the reason why St. Peter resigned.
“I cannot comment on Dr. St Peter’s resignation as it is a university related matter. I can only speak to changes in the theater & dance department,” Garfinkel said.
“Since Dr. St Peter’s departure three faculty members on staff, Pia Wyatt, Dr. Grace Edgar and Karn Richoux, are covering three of his classes,” Garfinkel said. “Two other faculty that are Professor Emeritus status, Dr. Jack Wann and Dr. Vicki Parrish, have taken over teaching his other two classes.”
St. Peter had overseen “The Wolves”, a play centering on a girls’ soccer team. The play has been cancelled, as well as all fall theatre productions.
The theater faculty have opted to produce a Halloween show, which they are referring to as “Ghoula,” instead. St. Peter was co-directing “Ghoula” prior to his departure.
Brynlee Daigle, junior theater major, was set to play number 25 in “The Wolves” and is now in “Ghoula”.
“He really wanted to do ‘The Wolves,’ and he kept stressing that if we weren’t going to do it in the fall, then we would definitely do it in the spring,” Daigle said. “And then he’s just gone. It was a really shocking day, because no one knows, as of now, the reason why he’s gone. We don’t know why he left.”
Daigle reflected on her relationship with Dr. St. Peter, said that he was always a professor she felt she could talk to.
“He was always there to check in with me in the hallway, and say hi, and I feel like I could trust this man and I could go to him with whatever was going on in my life, and he wouldn’t judge me,” Daigle said.
“As you can imagine it is never easy to find someone six weeks into the semester to replace a faculty member, but we are making it work,” Garfinkel said. “My ultimate goal was to make sure students would continue to move through their degree plan without any interruption.”
St. Peter did not respond in time of the deadline.