New Year’s in Canada

The Next Adventure

High on my bucket list is seeing the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). Determined to make this happen sooner rather than later (or not at all), I recently bought my r/t Canadian train ticket to go from Winnipeg to Churchill, a small town on the Hudson Bay, arriving on New Year’s Eve. This is polar bear country, and there are no roads to Churchill—just over-priced regional planes and the more affordable ViaRail train. The train trip is very slow: 40+ hours (2 nights) each way, but I’ll have a sleeperette with hot meals provided and access to a shower. The price is manageable, since the Canadian dollar is low, and I am buying so far in advance. I also will be a senior (60) by the time I travel, and four of my six nights will be on the train.

Life from 50-60 was about visiting as many countries as possible with the goal of 60 countries by the time I turned 60. I achieved that goal a few months ago after visiting Cuba. I think that 60-70 will focus on my bucket list of experiences, which includes the Northern Light this winter and then the Oberammergau Passion Play this summer (2020).

Guest Visit to Intro Class

The Director: Key Concepts

history: director as late development?
(choreagos to prompter to actor-manager to director)
interpretor vs. creator
(typical American vs. European notions of director)
auteur vs. collaborator
(Robert Wilson vs. Joseph Chaikin)
concept vs. gimmick
(Ian Rickson with Martin Sheen as Hamlet in an insane asylum)
concept vs. problem-solution
(McTier’s Big Love)
unified production
(Richard Wagner’s gesamtkunstwerk)
personal styles: forest vs. trees
price vs. production values

Key Directors from History

Goethe
Georg, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen
Richard Wagner and Gesemtkunstwerk
Max Reinhardt and Crowds and Regiebuch
Constantine Stanislavski and Psychological Realism/Method
Vsevolod Meyerhold and Constructivism/Biomechanics
Bertolt Brecht and Epic Theatre
Jerzy Grotowski Towards A Poor Theatre
Peter Brook The Empty Space

Recent Interpretations of Tartuffe

Directorial Interpretations: Moliere’s Tartuffe

David McTier’s Recent Work

David’s Website: Directing Gallery

New Year’s in India and Nepal

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After spending a week with my family in Georgia to celebrate Christmas, I headed off for three weeks in India and Nepal. [Picture: At Agra Fort, I ran into a bunch of Americans, who were in India for a big wedding. They still were in a festive mood and broke out into a spontaneous dance. What fun!]

Fall 2018

Our fall production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has been invited to perform at the upcoming KCACTF Region 6 Festival to be held in late February in Abilene!

Summer 2018

The day after graduation, I took a 16-hour flight from Houston to Taipei and spent the next three weeks in Asia, visiting Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Macau. After a long-weekend reunion at the family farm in Dearing, Georgia, to celebrate my father’s 90th birthday, I moved to Berry College (an hour north of Atlanta), where I spent almost five weeks teaching at the Governor’s Honors Program, which is a summer residential program for gifted and talented high schoolers. After the program ended, I visited friends in north Georgia, saw Serenbe’s Titanic, and then returned to the farm to celebrate my mom’s upcoming 90th birthday. On the long drive back to Texas, I paused for a personal retreat at Roosevelt State Park in Mississippi and made it back in time to rent and move to a new apartment in Conroe. I’ll unpack this week and then return to school next week. What a busy summer…if only this terrible heat would end!

Asia in May

I have just begun a three-week trip to Asia with stops in Taiwan, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. This is my first trip to Asia, and I’m very excited to have another travel adventure!

The pics below are from my arrival day in Taipei, where I visited one of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, the Taipei 101.

ACUE Effective Teaching Practices

I recently finished ACUE’s year-long course in “Effective Teaching Practices,” which has afforded me new methods (and reminded me of old ones) that will improve my skills as a teacher. This picture was taken after our awards dinner, when we were presented our certificates. This course will be repeated next year at SHSU, and I strongly encourage my colleagues to participate.

ACUEGroupShot

Visiting Mr. Green

Visiting Mr. Green at Unity Theatre in Brenham, Texas

This is the play I recently directed at Unity Theatre in Brenham. The production featured Ryan Schabach as Ross and Ralph Ehntholt as Mr. Green. Production stills were provided by Scott Hill of Brenham Portrait Gallery.


Roamin’ Romania, a photobook chronicling my year in Romania as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar, is available on Amazon.com.

 

TAMUC Talk/Class

Not just another college play…

What are we teaching and learning with each production?

Pedagogy Handout

Index card activity: My “best” college production? Not the title but the why

Context: The return from Kosovo

Dying for It (Moira Buffini, based on Nikolai Erdman’s The Suicide)

The Trojan Women (Gilbert Murray)

Travis Prokop

Machinal (Sophie Treadwell)

Men with Broken Hopes (company-adapted from Shaip Grabovci’s Albanian play)

Google Docs

SHqIP Selection

An exception: Cardenio

 

Upcoming Season

We finalized our season for the 2018-2019 academic year here at SHSU:

Fall Semester

Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
music by Jacques Brel with English lyrics by Eric Blau and Mort Shuman
directed by Laura Avery

Macbeth
adapted from Shakespeare’s play by Guy Roberts
directed by Tom Prior

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
play by Stephen Simons, based on the novel by Mark Haddon
directed by David McTier
KCACTF participating entry

Spring Semester

Our Lady of 121st Street
by Stephen Guirgis
directed by TBA (our new directing professor)

Silence
by Moira Buffini
directed by Penny Hasekoester

Footloose
music by Tom Snow, lyrics by Dean Pitchford, and book by Pitchford and Walter Bobbie
directed by Kyle Craig-Bogard and Kevin Crouch

There also will be 3-4 student-directed productions as part of our Director’s Debut.