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Getting to know Saffron Henke

September 2012

A new adjunct faculty member, Saffron Henke, comes to St. Ambrose University this semester to teach Voice and Diction and direct the play "Les Liaisons Dangereuses."  

She brings to the table a wealth of knowledge and experience in the arenas of acting, directing and teaching. In addition, she has worked in live theatre, film, and television. Henke received her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts from the University of Iowa and Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Washington. She also did post-graduate work in Greek Theatre at the University of California-Davis. 

Since then, she has performed in more than 50 productions in various regions of the country and even internationally in Greece and Germany. Her favorite roles include the 24 characters she portrayed in the one-woman show, "The Syringa Tree," at Riverside Theatre in Iowa City, Iowa. Henke said in that production there was immediate emotional impact that could be seen in the audience.

Additionally, she has been cast as Katherine in "Taming of the Shrew" several times which gave her a new understanding of the character each time and she now feels that she really has a connection to that character. 

Henke has taught and directed at nearly 20 different colleges and theatre companies. Her teaching focuses primarily on a diverse array of acting tools and techniques but also includes other areas, such as playwriting workshops. Henke said she can't choose her favorite out of acting, directing and teaching because she enjoys them all immensely for different reasons. Her advice to the students, "Be specific about what you want to do with your degree. Have a plan for your life and then, be free to go with the flow."

Henke is currently celebrating life as a new mom and said, "I am relishing the experience of loving someone like I've never loved before."  

At present, she is the Assistant Director for Art Initiatives and Director of the Grant Wood Artist Colony at the University of Iowa. She and a professional writing partner are working on an adaptation of the ancient Greek tragedy, "The Bacchaeby Euripides." She will also be directing a show this coming spring at Augustana College in Rock Island.
Welcome to Saffron!

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