As I transition into my tenure at the helm of Los Angeles Mission College’s new theater program I bring with me a long range vision that will build on the amazing culture and diversity of this community. I fully recognize the efforts of my predecessors to establish a long-term program and am confident that I will be able to finally make theater a permanent fixture at LA Mission.
I come to LA Mission with many years of experience producing theater at all levels and in all environments. I have been blessed with the opportunity to participate in theater in many far-flung locations and in many different capacities. My training from the beginning had a performance focus but as I progressed in my career I developed a reverence for the work that goes on behind the scenes, and now see that if we are to truly train successful actors then they must have an intimate knowledge of all aspects of the theater creation process, from the building of the set to the plugging in of lights. In short the goal is for theater students from Mission to understand theater to be much more than simply acting.
Truly understanding theater requires not only an intellectual approach, but a kinesthetic, and affective one as well. Students must think, act and feel if they are to truly develop on the stage that is life. All of Missions’ theater classes will offer all three of these approaches, to help students truly absorb the awesome power that comes from a community that handcrafts a play in this age of mass production.
As a teacher it is my duty to bring this perspective to life for all my students regardless of ability, or talent level. I understand the importance of challenging students to be artists, advocates, and critics in our world regardless of challenges and obstacles. I embrace this challenge of teaching all my students because I have witnessed amazing teachers who provided me with a rigorous education, a deep-rooted moral code, and an irrepressible work ethic. To a great extent I am a teacher today because of the impressions they made.
It is my dream to build upon the knowledge my teachers gave me, and to do my part to fan the flame of learning and inquiry. As theater students we are a part of a long tradition, from the first Greek Theater Festivals to today. Theater has been a way for people to come together in a community and see themselves as they truly are. It is because of this and more that I believe in using drama to help students channel their energies into productive endeavors, as well as a socially conscious, process oriented approach to theater creation.