Jeff Entwistle is not only a professor, but also a mentor and advisor for many students in the UW-Green Bay Theatre and Dance program. He hopes his speech at UW-Green Bay’s Spring 2018 Commencement, will let graduates know how they have inspired him, and that while years apart in their professional journeys, they have much in common. Entwistle is a full professor in the program, a position he has held since 1984. Prior to coming to UW-Green Bay, Entwistle was an assistant professor at Illinois State University. He has been a lifelong theatre educator, spending more than half of his career at UW-Green Bay. Entwistle earned his Bachelor of Arts in Theater at Bridgewater State College, before earning a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre and Scene Design at Michigan State University.
In addition to teaching, Entwistle is the resident scenic designer for UW-Green Bay’s theatre and dance productions, designing the scenery and/or lighting for more than 200 productions at the University or with other Theatre, Opera and Dance companies throughout the Northeast region. His scenic/lighting design for the Northeast Wisconsin Dance Organization’s production of “The Nutcracker,” a two-act ballet by Tchaikovsky that is a staple of the holiday season, will grace the stage for the 13th time in December 2018.
Each year, Entwistle employs students from UW-Green Bay to work alongside him during “The Nutcracker” production at the Meyer Theatre in downtown Green Bay. Entwistle also spent 19 years as the only scene designer for the Pamiro Opera in Green Bay and would employ students in the scene shop during summer breaks as the opera prepared for its season. Every other year for the past 18 years, Entwistle has taken a group of Theatre and Dance students to New York City to “demystify” a place where their careers may take them. Previously he has worked with the Starlight Theatre in Rockford, Illinois, as well as with the Weidner Center for Performing Arts.
Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Entwistle and his wife, Donna, also from New Bedford, have been married for 40 years this summer. They have one daughter, Taylor, who followed in her father’s footsteps and is a scenic change artist with the Paramount Theatre in Chicago. Like his idol Al Hirschfield, Entwistle has hidden his daughter’s name in his scenery or prop designs for the past 35 years.