Sweet Spring ’16

This semester has been full of sweet blessings. I coached and accompanied our Theatre Arts and Performance Studies Irene Ryan nominees to the Region 8 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Oahu, Hawaii.

Our fall production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee that I directed was asked to participated in the Evening of Invited Scenes and we had 4 original cast members plus our Assistant Director present so we remounted two musical numbers to great response from the audience.

I am teaching Theatre and Society to a new cluster of students who are willingly walking through the inspirations of theatre artists historical and contemporary to gauge the relevance and social functions of theatre in our changing cultures. We flip the classroom with the help of a WordPress Blog on which they read/post about myriad theatre ideas and movements.

The Creative Arts Entrepreneurship Minor for which I developed a new course teaching The Creative Mind to business students was approved for next year!

Opera Workshop is developing another semester of beautiful vignettes from well-loved operas, operettas and early classical musicals. I am always so proud of the hard work and artistic growth that comes from the students in this interdisciplinary craft.

Once again I am the faculty advisor for the graduating Senior Projects. This year’s graduating class marks my 4th year at USD. These students started here when I started here. Among them are original plays, live radio theatre podcasts, and independent films. Two have collaborated on a Student Lab production of This Is Our Youth and are culminating their work into 1) a director’s reel and 2) a psychological examination of actors’ emotional journeys. The presentation of their work will be at the end of their semester and I will probably be all mushy-eyed as they walk across the platform to take their diplomas on May 22nd.

Finally we have initiated and are enjoying the first cast of Alpha Psi Omega, Alpha Eta Omega chapter here at USD. It is the national theatre honors society in which we have 11 members who have shown dedication of scholarship and craft to the department. We have outings to see shows, perform service for the department and the San Diego theatre community at large, and will be looking forward to more events and opportunities to spread the good-theatre-word as the society grows!

Blue Wonderment

Get lost in the eyes of a child and discover that you know very little in the grand scheme of life.

I practice moments of simplicity to remove the noise of knowledge, ideas, and necessity that easily crowds our daily lives. Take your hands off the computer mouse. Set your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Place your hands, palms up on your knees and focus your eyes on one, undisrupted place in front of you. (Try not to let it be an image that makes you wander.) Expel all the air you have in your lungs. Let it all out. All of the air, gone. Then simply sit up. That’s it. Just bring your spine to an easy and upright position. The air you need falls in. You don’t have to “take a breath” or “inhale”. The simplicity of being is that your body already wants to “be” so it knows to let the air fall into your lungs. Rest in that practice for anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes and be kind to yourself as you finish. Remind yourself that color and light are all around you effortlessly. Clarity comes from allowing yourself to see without prescribed understanding. Openness to not knowing will reveal new insight.