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Hey, remember when? Good times will come again! In the meantime, I actually have time to post about The Bear.

April 7, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, the PAC at Lee College has (with exceptionally good reason) gone dark for the remainder of the regular season.  In that I’m the venue’s production specialist/technical director, the spring half of any given performing season is usually an enormously busy time for me, and that was certainly true until spring break came along and the entire world abruptly changed.

The somewhat tragic thing about this is that when I’m in the thick of the busy times, I often neglect to post about things before they actually happen.  In both the middle and end of February, the Lee College Players presented Anton Chekov’s The Bear in both it’s original English translation and in a fun, modern adaptation.

Here’s a youtube trailer that was released before they opened the show on Valentine’s Day weekend.

The show did very well at the 2020 TCCSTA Play Festival at Lone Star College Kingwood at the tail end of the month, and it was fun to take the show from one school where I happen to be an employee to another school where I happen to be an employee.  It’s always strange when my work-worlds overlap!  I went as Lee College’s play’s technical director this time around, but I usually go to LSC-Kingwood for faculty development days as a lecturing adjunct professor (LSC Atascocita-Center is affiliated with LSC-Kingwood) or to see LSC-Kingwood plays I require my students to see for their coursework.

Interestingly, the 2020 TCCSTA festival was my first ever experience driving a large U-Haul moving truck!  The cast went to the festival in a Lee College van, and I followed them up with the set in the truck.  I am happy to report that I made it there and back safely without bringing any harm to the set pieces.

I find this recent memory a little surreal, because the show played to a packed house at the festival.  A rowdy, convivial packed house full of people who genuinely love to create and attend live theatrical events.  If we tried that today, April 7th of the same year, we would be subject to a fine and “up to 180 days in jail.”  How quickly things change!

This too shall pass, of course, and there will be more plays and more play festivals.  Next spring, the Lee College PAC will probably be back to the normal routine of back-to-back music, dance, and theatre events to keep everyone’s calendars and hands full.

In the meantime, I’m glad the Lee College PAC managed to fit a dance competition, a Baytown Symphony concert, a play, and a Core Ensemble event (Of Ebony Embers) for Black History Month into the front-end of the semester before everything had to shut down.  We should definitely count ourselves lucky.

Please stay safe and well, everyone, in as much as is possible given the circumstances. -E.G.D.

Return of the Holiday E-Card!

December 19, 2019

Sitecard

For a proper explanation of this year’s e-card, you need only scroll down a little bit!  I designed and my student assistants and I built a parade float.  It is built of wood, foam, sheet-roofing, vinyl, burlap, PVC, about a hundred feet of Christmas lights, a discarded mic stand, quite a lot of cardboard, probably about a mile of gaff tape, a broken armchair, two rolls of spike tape, garland, scrap fabric, Christmas ornaments, house paint, and any number of other things (hardware, screws, and zip ties, for instance).  For a better look at the truck with 100% less me in the truck bed and with the lights on, please feel free to watch the slide-show in the earlier post.  Happy holidays, everyone!  Here’s to a great new year- E.G.D.

Lee College Rebels at the Parade!

December 6, 2019

Hello, all.  Those of you who know me are probably surprised by the frequency of posts over the last couple months.  I am, too!  I’m no less busy than I have always been, and by rights I shouldn’t have time and brain space for all this posting.  On the other hand, my student assistants and I accomplished something pretty cool, and with absolutely no experience in parade float building to speak of.  Now, obviously, as the Lee College PAC technical director, you can assume I have a very firm grasp of the load bearing capacities of materials and structures, but I can assure you that I have never in my life had to figure out how to attach those materials and structures to a truck that would be moving and outdoors in the wind for the duration of a very long parade.  Moreover, we needed to figure out how to keep a person in a movement-restricting costume safe in the truck bed while the vehicle was moving.  Both the design phase and the build had to happen in fewer than three weeks with a school-closure holiday smack in the middle, and we didn’t even have the lights until the week of the event.  It was a weird and rather stressful sort of challenge, but it was fun in its way, and I do think it turned out well.  Without further ado, I present “Lights, Camera, Enroll!”:

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We were not even in the top 30 of best floats in the parade (you wouldn’t believe the quality of the competition!), but at least we have no reason to be ashamed of our contribution, and our mascot was safe back there.

While I’m posting, please don’t forget that Santa’s Christmas Magic the Musical has a good number of performances left!  For details, please see yesterday’s post.  Thanks, and I hope you enjoyed the slideshow- E.G.D.

Tonight and Tonight!

December 5, 2019

Hello, all!  As promised, here are the details for the parade in Baytown and Santa’s Christmas Magic the Musical at San Jacinto College Central in Pasadena:

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I don’t think it would be possible to attend both tonight, but Santa’s Christmas Magic has plenty of performances after opening night!  For those of you who don’t already know, I designed (and was the foreman for the build of) the Lee College parade float for the Baytown parade, and I am the music director for Santa’s Christmas Magic.  Tonight, I’ll be at the parade.  Maybe I’ll see you there ^_^.  -E.G.D.

Parades, and Plays, and Finals, oh my!

December 4, 2019

Greetings, all!  Santa’s Christmas Magic the Musical opens tomorrow night at San Jacinto College Central.  The final dress rehearsal is happening even as I write this post.  Also, a parade float that the Lee College PAC scene shop staff (including me) has been working very hard on will be in the Baytown Christmas parade tomorrow evening.  Also, finals start on Monday, and then the semester will be over!  How crazy is that?  Anyhow, I will try to post more thorough details on the parade and the play tomorrow, but I thought I should give everyone a heads-up that really fun stuff is happening tomorrow night and then over the weekend.  Maybe I’ll see you there- E.G.D.

Certified in Mental Health First Aid

October 31, 2019

Hello, all.  I had a really interesting professional development opportunity at work at Lee College last week!  Have you ever heard of Mental Health First Aid?  It’s something Lee College seems to take pretty seriously as a community, and I finally had enough time in my schedule to squeeze it in.   Check it out:

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The training was interesting, and it came complete with a useful textbook.  I would definitely recommend this line of training to anyone who lives or works with human beings.  Really, I think the world would be a better place if everyone took a first aid course and a mental health first aid course every few years. -E.G.D.

The play is done, long live the play!

October 28, 2019

Well, I’m sure nobody is surprised, but we started rehearsal for Santa’s Christmas Magic the Musical at SanJac Central even before Shrek the Musical closed (it’s a lot like Mary Poppins and Santa’s Christmas Magic last year).  If any of you happen to know kids who might want to participate in a Christmas musical and who live in or near Pasadena, TX, our auditions for the children’s chorus happen on November 18 and 19, and it’s always a fun experience for everyone involved.  By then, the adult cast has been rehearsing for about a month, so the kids are brought into a nice, established play framework.

Woosh!  This semester is going by like lightning.  I’ll do my best to try to post another notice when we open Santa’s Christmas Magic the Musical, but it seems that most years I wind up doing that several days into the run.  Just to be safe, I may as well mention we open on Dec. 5.  It’ll be Dec. 5 in the blink of an eye!  -E.G.D.