NORMAN — Steven Arthur Draheim, esteemed professor of lighting design in the Helmerich School of Drama at the University of Oklahoma, passed away Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013, after a long and valiant battle with cancer. Steve was surrounded by immense love from family and friends at the time of his death.
Steve was born Sept. 26, 1963, in Phoenix, Ariz. to Stanley and Aldora Draheim, the fourth of four treasured children. The family soon relocated to Minnesota, where he grew up playing football, running track, and became an avid cross-country skier. He attended Mora (Minnesota) High School and graduated with the class of 1982. A self-described “rabid Minnesota Twins fan,” one of Steve’s favorite things was enjoying a game and a cup of coffee with his best friend and father, whom he lovingly referred to as “Pa.”
Steve completed his BFA in theatrical design from the University of Minnesota-Duluth followed by an MFA from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. He spent his summers at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan where he served as a resident designer.
Steve had an extensive career as a professional lighting designer before discovering his love for teaching. He taught at Augsburg College (Minn.), Alma College (Mich.), Montclair State University (N.J.), and Bucknell University (Pa.) before joining the Helmerich School of Drama family at the University of Oklahoma in 2003. Subsequently, Steve began serving on the technical support staff of the Oklahoma Arts Institute located at Quartz Mountain, an organization he was immensely invested in. He was a member of the BKRJ and Alpha Psi Omega, the national honorary theatre fraternity.
Steve was a gifted and loved teacher who taught across the curriculum in the School of Drama, including basic stage lighting, lighting design, lighting styles and computer aided drafting (CAD). He had a special gift to encourage and inspire his students to see things in a fresh way, to apply new methods and challenged them to expand their perceptions.