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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:


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


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.

The Nutcracker in Baytown, TX

December 15, 2018

Hello, all!  Bay Area Houston Ballet and Theatre has come to Baytown, and they are doing The Nutcracker with the Baytown Symphony at Lee College’s PAC for two more performances.  Last night was opening night, so I’m running late again, but I can vouch for the show because I’m the light board operator, and I’ve seen it twice, now, if you count dress rehearsal.  There’s a show tonight at 7:30 PM and a matinee tomorrow at 2:30.  If you’re in the bay area and you haven’t seen The Nutcracker this year, this could be the show for you!

You can find PAC ticketing info here:

Thanks all, and I hope you’re having a great holiday season- E.G.D.

Santa’s Christmas Magic 2018 Has One More Weekend!

December 12, 2018

Photo Copied from an e-advertisement sent by Dr. Jerry Ivins

Ladies and gentlemen, I am late again.  The first weekend of SCM went brilliantly, and we have one weekend left.  As with the past 4 previous years, I am the music director for this year’s production.  If you come, I can pretty well guarantee you a good time!  Here’s a copy of the add that showed up in my e-mail in-box:

“2018 Santa’s Christmas Magic:

The Musical”

The 23rd Annual Family Christmas Play


It is time again for those mean ol’ characters to try and steal Santa’s Magic!  Will they succeed?  

San Jacinto College Central Department of Theatre and Film is getting into the Christmas spirit again.  They will be presenting a musical fantasy centering on a sinister plot to steal Santa’s magic.  This year’s production has over 85 performers (over 35 community children ages 4 on up were cast!).

This is an event filled with classic Christmas songs, elves and living toys.  It is an opportunity for children to visit and have their photos taken with Santa during intermission.  Community and college singers, dancers and actors make this a very unique event!

When:            Dec. 13, 14 and 15 – 7:30 pm Curtain

                                    Dec. 16 – 2:30 pm Curtain (Matinee)

Where:           Powell Arena Theatre – San Jacinto College Central in Pasadena

Cost:               $10 per person for general admission

Box Office:    Will open at 1:30 pm till 5 p.m. Monday – Friday – Powell Arena Theatre – 281-476-1828

Just two more days of Mary Poppins at San Jacinto College Central!

October 26, 2018

Hello, all!  I’ve been so busy with classes (I’m teaching 8, and two of them are accelerated), rehearsals, and auditions for the Christmas show that I have fallen woefully behind on this website.  I’m sorry I’m posting this so late, but you still have two days left of Mary Poppins at San Jacinto College Central if you haven’t come to see it yet.  It’s quite a magical show!  As usual, I have been the music director for the production.image004

I do hope some of you can make it, even with the late notice!  Thanks as always- E.G.D.

5 Years of Fun (and a whole lot of hard work)

June 23, 2018

Ladies and gentlemen, I recently hunted down some bootleg footage of various projects in which I have been involved since becoming an adjunct professor of theatre and film.  I stuck bits of it in iMovie and the following trailer is the very fun result!  I hope you all enjoy it.


Mentorship: Paying it Forward, but Sending Back Hugs

March 6, 2018

In the process completing a job application recently, I contacted my MFA graduate committee to ask if any of them would be willing to help me revise my cover letter.  They provided me not only with insight and thoughtful feedback, but also markups of the document.  It became something of a multi-person digital conversation.  Not surprisingly, the cover letter has gotten vastly better in the process.  This got me thinking about the value of mentorship, and how, when it works, it really can be a lifelong relationship.

Ladies and gentlemen, I graduated with my MFA almost seven years ago.  It seems normal to continue to exchange holiday cards and the occasional e-mail update, and for the first few years after graduation, I’ll admit that I knocked on the e-mail doors of my various professors on a regular basis when I needed academic references or letters of recommendation. The remarkable thing is that I am still comfortable asking for help after so many years, and they are willing to jump right in with both feet and give that help, even though they are busy with their jobs as educators, researchers, and theatre professionals.

Though I am still a long-term mentee,  I am at a point in my career (especially as a professor, but occasionally as a colleague or theatrical director) when I am frequently asked to write letters of recommendation.  The shoe is on the other foot, and it would seem a good number of people are looking up to me as a mentor.  I have students from past years tracking me down in the hallways and asking me to critique and/or give advice for their current theatrical work or vocal development.  In the past three months or so, I have written and submitted at least five letters of recommendation for college programs, jobs, and leadership organizations.

Is this the academic circle of life?  In general, it appears to be a pay-it-forward system.  It has me wondering, actually, if seven years from now my students will remember me and the things I’ve taught them.  Will any of them drop me a line and ask for help with a cover letter or another academic or work related endeavor?  I like to think that I will be just as happy to help as those members of my graduate committee.  Maybe I can repay them by paying it forward.

In the meantime, I am seriously considering sending them flowers or a fruit basket.  At the very least, while paying the mentorship effort forward, I think I should occasionally send back a thank you and remember that nobody has to be a mentor.  It is a wonderful, special, amazing relationship that at the very least should make a mentee want to send back a few hugs.

Wild Winter Weather! Happy Holidays ^_^

December 24, 2017

ChristmasCard2017Ladies and gentlemen, I haven’t exactly been in-touch on this website, but for those of you who don’t know, it’s been a truly peculiar year here in south-coastal Texas.  We’ve had wind and water to boot, and we recently had snow that stuck on the lawn and shrubs until mid-morning!  The kids across the street had a snowball fight while I tried to take pictures of the white dust of snow on my front yard (this was the point at which I finally admitted that my camera is definitely broken, because none of them turned out very well!  I ordered a new one during the crazy internet Christmas sales).  The photo I used for the card isn’t great, but you can see that all 3 of my pineapple plants had to be moved into my screened-in porch, there’s snow through the window, and the Christmas cactus on the table is blooming ^_^.  Mission accomplished!  Sending hugs and warm holiday wishes to all- E.G.D.