The EncoreMichigan community mourns Terry Heck-Seibert
YPSILANTI, Mich.–The Michigan Theatre community is mourning the loss today of actress and teacher Terry Heck-Seibert, professor and co-director of Theatre at Eastern Michigan University.
Professor Heck-Seibert, according to accounts by her friends today, was killed after being struck by a car while walking her dog. Professor Heck-Seibert, who performed under her maiden name as an actress and member of Actors Equity Association, was married to and is survived by husband John Seibert.
Heck has performed in many theaters including Off Broadway in Howard Korder’s Episode 26 at the Lamb’s Theatre; The Alley Theatre in Houston; the Cincinnati Playhouse; Center Repertory Theatre in Walnut Creek, CA and Actors Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota.
In Michigan, Ms. Heck has been seen at The Performance Network, The Purple Rose Theatre, The Meadowbrook, The Williamston Theatre, the Jewish Ensemble Theatre and The Michigan Shakespeare Festival.
Among her roles: Sonia in Vanya, Sonia, Masha & Spike, Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest (Rogue Critic Award) Zlata in Eve Ensler’s Necessary Targets, (Detroit Free Press Award/ Best Featured Actress) Laura in Joe Zettlemaier’s Language Lessons, (premiere, Detroit Free Press and Wilde award nominations) Mary Sue in Jeff Daniel’s Norma and Wanda, (premiere: Detroit Free Press nomination and Wilde Award nomination) Suzie in DON’T DRESS FOR DINNER (The Dean Goodman Award for Acting Excellence in San Francisco), Marty in Circle Mirror Transformation, and Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest.
Heck was a beloved teacher at EMU. Sarah Ann Leahy, a former student, posted on Facebook what it was like to study under Heck. “Terry was our teacher, but she was also a parent. If you weren’t in class, she wasn’t mad, she would call to make sure you were okay. If you weren’t working hard, she would get mad, only because she knew what you were capable of. And when we were in a show together, she treated me as an equal, while still seizing every opportunity to teach me something. She wanted everyone around her to be the best version of themselves, and around her, we all were.”
“I have had the enormous pleasure of seeing Terry Heck perform twice, and I was so moved both times by the depth to which she inhabited her characters, and the truth of her acting,” said EncoreMichigan editor David Kiley. “And when you hear people you respect speak so frequently of what a generous, thoughtful teacher she was, you know that your community has lost a true treasure.”
The Michigan Shakespeare Festival posted this about Heck: “The Michigan theatre community is reeling today after the sudden loss of Terry Heck Seibert. Though she would never have condoned us saying it, she and her husband John have been Michigan theatre royalty, a solid bedrock of professionalism, grace, and talent. There is no one in the business whose life she did not touch, from fellow actors, directors, and designers to countless students at EMU.”
Guy Sanville, artistic director at The Purple Rose Theatre, posted this to his Facebook page: “I will remember Terry Heck’s laugh, professionalism and artistic courage. When she climbed into the ring she was always ready and fearless. So smart and kind. Working with her was wonderful.”
The Williamston Theatre posted this to their Facebook page: “We at the Williamston Theatre join the entire Michigan theatre community in mourning the loss of our dear friend Terry Heck. We had the profound pleasure of having her appear on our stage in “Taking Shakespeare” and “Sirens”. Our hearts go out to her family, friends, students and colleagues at EMU, as well as all those whose lives she touched with her amazing talent as both an actor and director.”
Arrangements for Ms. Heck-Seibert are pending. EncoreMichigan will post them when they are known.