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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

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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.

 

A few updates, including Shrek the Musical at San Jacinto College Central!

October 17, 2019

Hello, all.  It’s been a rip-roaring sort of crazy semester so far, but in a good way.  At this point, I have my full time job as a production specialist at Lee College, and I am also teaching 3 classes at San Jacinto College Central and 2 classes for Lone Star College online (yes, that’s an 80 hour work week).  And for an encore?  I have spent the last seven weeks as the music director for San Jacinto College Central’s production of Shrek the Musical.  The music directing is unpaid, so it’s basically my very intense and enormously time consuming hobby.

Let me tell you, though, all of the above is worth it.  It’s good to have a full-time job with actual benefits, and I’m enormously grateful that I still have a teaching outlet despite the fact that I am no longer allowed to teach at Lee (it’s a rule, apparently, that full-time staff can’t teach classes at Lee, even though I started here as faculty).  As for Shrek the Musical, the show features the strongest musical ensemble with which I have ever worked at San Jacinto College, and I’ve been music directing shows there for six years straight.  It’s a fantastically well-performed show, and I would recommend it to just about anyone!  Even better, the show is entirely family friendly, so you can definitely bring kids.

Shrek the Musical performance details are as follows:

When:            Oct. 17, 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 20 and 27.  

Special performances for schools, daycares and girl/boy scout troops on Oct. 18 at 9 am and 24 at 10 am (call 281-542-2039 for prices)

 Where:           Slocomb Auditorium – San Jacinto College Central in Pasadena

 Cost:               $15 General Admission

Sooo, tonight is opening night!  It’s going to to be fantastic.  If you are near Pasadena, TX and are free for any of those performances, it is well worth the price of entry.  -E.G.D.

A Semester that Flew and The Tempest

April 23, 2019

It occurred to me while writing up feedback for final project rough drafts last weekend (yes, over the Easter weekend holiday) that the semester is almost over.  I kid you not, in all 3 school systems for which I work, finals end on 5/9 or 5/10.  That’s only two weeks and a couple days away, and that is giving me a little temporal whiplash.  This semester really flew by!  It’s been busy and crazy and interesting, and the production specialist job has kept me on my toes.  There has been far less driving this semester and far more shifting/juggling of pig iron weights, soft goods, set pieces, and lighting equipment (you theatre people out there know what I mean).

Anyhow, since I have been sorely neglecting this website, I figured I’d throw in one token shout-out for a play here at Lee (since I missed the truly staggering number of other events that have flown by with the semester).  The Tempest has one more weekend of performances, and it is a creative and interesting take on Shakespeare’s fourth-shortest play:

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If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, this may be exactly what you’re looking for, especially if you need a break from studying and/or grading.  I might even see you there ^_^ – E.G.D.

Happy Holidays from a Theatrical Production Specialist

December 19, 2018

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Ladies and gentlemen, I do hope you are all having a fantastic holiday season!  This year’s goofy hand-made e-card is a combo of a creative commons image of a theatre I found online (the attribution link was empty, so I don’t know who created it!), a photograph of my yet-to-be-decorated Christmas tree and a pencil sketch self-portrait I colored with GIMP software.  If you’re not a theatre person, you’re probably wondering why I’m wearing black on a holiday card, and if you are a theatre person, you are probably thinking that the holly hair clip is non-regulation for techie blacks.  My big news for the holiday season is that I’ll be ringing in the new year with a new full-time job as a “theatrical production specialist” for one of the community colleges at which I’ve spent years lecturing as an adjunct professor.  Interestingly, because of school policies that are currently in place, I will no longer be allowed to teach classes at that specific school, though I’ll still be teaching a couple classes at the other schools.  Soooo, I’m a professional techie, now!  I’m really thrilled to finally have a full time job in my degree field, and I’m glad it’s a job that will still allow for a little bit of teaching (and hopefully even some serious performing) on the side.

Wishing everyone all the best for a fantastic holiday season and a great new year!  I expect it will be an adventure- E.G.D.