My UIL One-Act Play Philosophy.. and why you want me for your judge or as a clinician!
When people look me up as a potential judge, I am often asked about why am an adjunct theatre teacher but I teach high school art. Well, I came to the art world via the theatre world.
My foundation is in theatre, I have a BA and MFA in Theatre. My first eight years of teaching experience were teaching theatre classes, directing OAP and coaching speaking events. 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 from which I graduated. My budget was $500 for the year and that had to include 3 shows including UIL OAP. It was tough, but incredibly rewarding and we improved with every show and every performance. 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.
Then as life would have it, I ended up teaching economics and coaching debate back at my alma mater when in 2008 I had the opportunity to move to teaching art. At first I wasn’t sure of this strange world of art and art students. But I learned that my foundation in theatre and my family background in commercial graphics made me a really great teacher of the visual arts. Along with traditional fine art projects, my students create set and costume designs, compete in UIL Theatrical Design, 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 plus 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.
I have had the privilege of judging junior high one act play contests as well as zone, district, bi-district and area OAP contests since 2011. I am an Area, Region and State recommended judge.
To view my profile or contract me to judge your UIL OAP contest, please see my profile at TTAO Connect.