It’s UIL One Act Play judge hiring season. Actually, it’s in full swing and as an unknown judge, I’m still trying to get my name out their to the directors and contest managers. So I’m taking a moment to do a little self promotion.
I came to the art world via the theatre world. My foundation is in theatre as are my degrees and my first eight years of teaching experience. My first love will always be theatre and UIL OAP is inextricably tied to that passion for theatre.
You see, I was in one act play in high school. And we were bad. We had a stage with three light switches and bare bulbs that we called “lights” and a partial unit set. No money for costumes or even scripts for that matter! There is no glossing the truth here. We were bad. My freshman year we took “The Summer People” to contest and our leads at one point sat on stage in rocking chairs in complete SILENCE for more than a minute because they forgot their lines while the rest of the cast backstage tried to figure out what to do! Obviously, we didn’t advance. But we did have one cast member get Honorable Mention All Star Cast. You would have thought we won.
I went to college as a completely green theatre major thinking I could be an awesome actress. I learned very quickly that I could be a decent actress, but I LOVED the technical side of theatre. Set design, costuming and lighting were natural fits for me! After receiving my bachelor’s degree in theatre from Hardin-Simmons University, I moved to Boca Raton and attended Florida Atlantic University and earned my MFA in theatre over the next few years.
My teaching career started in theatre, amazingly enough, in the very same high school I graduated from. My budget was $500 for the year and that had to include 3 shows including UIL OAP. It was tough, but fun and we improved. I then moved away with my husband and continued to teach theatre and direct for a number of years in both rural and suburban school of various sizes.
Seven years ago, I had the opportunity to move to the art world of teaching and I love it. My art students create set and costume designs and I can play in theatre as much as I want… but I don’t have to deal with “theatre drama!”
So why should you hire me to be your judge or clinician?
Because I’m good. I have a great eye for staging and the overall look of a show. I understand the technical side of theatre and how the constraints of a small budget or the lack of facilities can make you feel inferior to other productions.
I am also passionate about the students learning and feeling positive about themselves. I truly believe that the practice of tearing down students and directors guised as a critic has to stop. Twenty five years later, I don’t remember every word spoken to me as a OAP actor, but I can tell you how I was made to feel. My hope is that as a critic judge, students and directors would walk away from a conversation with me feeling like they were successful.. even if they didn’t advance.
Please contact me for further information and I would appreciate an opportunity to work with you and your UIL OAP.