Campus Closeup: Kimberly Hegmegee
Kimberly Hegmegee (CAPS) grew up watching her dad work on lighting for her mom’s dance school recitals. Rather than spend time dancing in a tutu, Hegmegee preferred to shadow her dad and learned the behind-the-scenes, technical aspects of productions. Now she works as the technical director at NMU.
“I blame mom and dad – it’s their fault,” Hegmegee said. “I thank them for it, though. I enjoy what I do very much and I hope a lot people can say that because you spend a lot of time in your profession and it’s much better when you enjoy it.”
Though musicals are her favorite shows from a design perspective, Hegmegee said that she enjoys dealing with all of the directors at NMU because their styles are so different the work doesn’t get stale.
On average, Hegmegee coordinates five shows a year for the Forest Roberts Theatre and three lab show slots, which are one-act, student-directed plays in the Black Box Theatre in McClintock. She works with three faculty directors for shows throughout the fall and winter semester, as well as with one or two guest directors.
In order to handle the technical aspects, she has a staff about 12-16 undergraduates. She said she misses those who graduate and leave, but she loves to see excited new students arrive at NMU. Hegmegee said one reason she's able to maintain a staff is that she makes the work fun. But they all take their jobs seriously.
"The world of theater is a hands-on profession," she said. "Production work is a vital element of their education that they cannot get in a traditional classroom. The hands-on education must be combined with course work."
Hegmegee's family dominates her free time. She and her husband, Michael, have two children: James, 13, and Jacqueline, 11. Whenever an NMU production is family friendly, Hegmegee brings her kids to see it. They are also an active bunch, as they enjoy four wheeling, target shooting, hunting and building projects in the back yard. The family also has a hobby farm. They raise their own livestock and grow their own vegetables and herbs. Kim and her husband enjoy brewing their own beer and making homemade soda pop with the kids.
"I have more time to spend with my family than when I used to work in construction,”“This job gave me the opportunity to get back to doing what I love and it gave me the ability to provide college for them [my kids]. This is what I trained to do for many years. It’s wonderful. Hegmegee said.