Exciting news from the Drama Department at Austin Community College!
Rehearsal for The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard
directed by Ryan Williams

photo credit: Remy Joslin
Letter from the Director
of The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard
Distant images of “ Murder, She Wrote,” “Clue: The Movie, ” and Agatha Christie’s “ And Then There We’re None”  come to mind as I write this letter. I’ve always been a fan of the Mystery- Thriller genre growing up, which is probably how this script found its way -mysteriously- into my possession. And so, given the opportunity to have it produced at ACC, I couldn’t pass up the chance. 

It’s almost as though there’s this power at work in the world of theatre, and once this power reveals itself as malicious, it is our job as Directors, Stage Managers, and yes, Actors, even, to push through; solve any situation that could potentially become detrimental for the show. That being said, this show has had its mouth filled to the brim with situations, set backs, time crunches. And yet, I find myself calm. I have my cast and crew to thank for that. 

Auditions: Beginning of Fall semester has a reputation of low turn outs for auditions, and when only 6 students attended (5 Women, 1 Man) it was evident that my crew and I were just going to have to pull up our sleeves and make this work, and with the help of some amazingly talented Acting 1 students, we made it happen - or more like, they made it happen. 

Rehearsals: This is my very first show in which I direct more than four people, which isn’t really a milestone, but it’s also not something to shrug off, you know? It has proven to be its own sort of demon. I’m not going to say it was easy or hard to get adjusted, but I will say that giving direction to so many people and then seeing them take said direction, blend in their own flare, develop and work it into the show... it’s a beautiful sight to see. Of course, when things go bad, your job as the director is to roll with the punches, be there for your cast, try to understand where they’re coming from and MAKE. IT. WORK. *snap*

Show: My hope is that everybody coming to see the show won’t be there to criticize the story behind the scenes, but to enjoy a show that literally was made with blood, sweat and so much of my tears. The cast was fantastic to work with; truly a shade of every kind of person has been involved in getting it on its feet, and I for one am so very proud of them. For me, this show is more than just a farce, a comedy, a thriller... It is a statement, telling us that our understanding of the natural world and it’s rules are “for the birds”, and no matter what you think you know, “nothing is ever as it seems.” 

- Ryan A. Williams


Taiyana Johnson

Interview by Jamie Rogers
Where are you from? Were you involved in theatre in when you were in high school?

I was born in good ol’ Austin Texas and grew up around the area in Round Rock, Texas. 

I definitely was actively involved in my high school’s Drama and Music department, but mainly due to being apart of Musical Theatre. Prior to this show, I have done a few musicals as an ensemble member and have had the opportunity to be apart of stage crew last year for ACC’s spring production of Gloria .

What were the reasons you decided to enroll at Austin Community College?

I wanted to begin my college career off at ACC for more than just the decent price of tuition. I wasn’t sure if Acting and performing was a reasonable path to pursue and struggled between choosing a more financially predictable career. ACC gave me the time to transition out of high school and into adulthood and most importantly, ACC gave me the realization that Acting and Performing altogether, is what I’m meant to do! 

Any favorite classes in the Drama Department and why? Important things you have learned so far?

It’s difficult to choose because of the fact that I have loved every single Drama class and staff member! Some of my most memorable ones that will keep me laughing and smiling for a lifetime were: Acting 1&2 with Perry Crafton, and Stage makeup and Intro to Costume Design with Stephanie Dunbar. From these incredible instructors and their classes, I have learned from the endless lists, the importance of using different acting techniques to truly connect with and develop your character in a scene. Also, everyday drugstore makeup and stage makeup are totally not the same thing! 

You have been and are currently in rehearsals for our Fall 2018 production of The Real Inspector Hound. Can you tell us a little bit about your role and what that rehearsal process has been like?

So I actually play Inspector Hound in the play; the completely aloof, but cute detective trying solve the Muldoon Manor Murder mystery, and I absolutely love this character! In the original play, Hound is played by a man which its interesting to see the gender switch for our version of the production. Inspector Hound is the well-intentioned, but borderline arrogant (mostly arrogant) detective. I have enjoyed getting to spend time developing Hound into connecting with who I am the most. The rehearsal process for the show has, in my own thought, made each of our cast members a more aware and skilled actor. Ryan has taken the time out to make sure that we are comfortable enough as actors to try new things for our characters and to contribute ideas, even if the don’t work out. I’ve learned immensely from working around such a talented cast and director.
Taiyana Johnson as the Inspector Hound

Any favorite ACC Drama Production?

Aside from the show that I am currently cast in, hahah, my favorite ACC production was Gloria . This show was intense, but incredibly funny!

Do you attend school and have outside employment? If so, how do you find a balance between work and drama department involvement?

Yes! I actually am currently attending ACC full time, along with two other part time jobs. Honestly, my 20-30 min power naps in between work, classes, and rehearsals as well as loads of coffee! In all seriousness, know all of your differing schedules and conflicts and stay organized, you’ll be fine! 

Any overall advice to give to current Drama Majors on ways to get them involved in the Department?

AUDITION! I don’t care if you’ve never wanted to do tech or be apart of behind the scenes, but audition for everything and accept anything available in the Drama Department. Stay positive and reliable! You’re always going to have to work hard to move up the ladder!

What does the future hold?

I’m graduating ACC with my Associates in Drama this fall and am planning on transferring out to Texas State for their prestigious Musical Theatre Program. I am also considering continuing my education with ACC by getting my certification for Dental Hygiene. We shall see! 
Costume Design Renderings for The Real Inspector Hound
Costume Designer: Deyanira Macias
Thank you to everyone who attended our
September Makers and Methods Event:
"Demystifying the Body" with
Guest Artist Jelena Stojiljkovic Rhynes
Congrats to our ACC Drama students recently nominated for
B. Iden Payne Awards:

Deyanira Macias, Outstanding Makeup Design
for ACC Drama's production of Eurydice

Joe Kelley, Outstanding Featured Actor in Musical Theatre
for his performance of Andre in Summer Stock Austin's production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
RACHEL ATKINSON was nominated for a B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Lighting Design for her work on ZACH Theatre's production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.

Over the summer, ACC Drama Dept Production Tech,  TOMAS SALAS , designed and built the set for Teatro Vivo's production of Real Women Have Curves by Josefina Lopez.
The set design was just nominated for a B. Iden Payne Award. (Austin Community College Drama Dept was given credit in the show program as a sponsor because our department donated recycled building materials from the sets of Eurydice and Gloria ).

In addition, having returned to school at the University of Texas Austin this spring to complete his BA in Theatre and Dance, Tomas completed his first semester with all A's and hopes to do the same for the current semester. 
ACC Drama Department 2018-2019 Season

The Real Inspector Hound
by Tom Stoppard
September 27-October 7 in the HLC Acting Studio
Admission is free of charge

This Day Forward
by Nicky Silver
October 25-November 4 in the Austin Playhouse Theatre
General Seating is $8.00

by Lisa Kron
February 28-March 10 in the Austin Playhouse Theatre
General Seating is $8.00

Sight Unseen
April 17-27 in the HLC Acting Studio
Admission is free of charge

Performance times are at 7:30pm for Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings,
and at 2:00pm for Sunday matinees.

Additional information can be found at our newly redesigned website: www.austincc.edu/drama
You can always keep
up-to date with the
ACC Drama Department
by visiting our website
or following us on Facebook and Instagram!