Exciting news from the Drama Department at Austin Community College!
The cast and director of This Day Forward by Nicky Silver
directed by Perry Crafton

photo credit: Jamie Rogers
Letter from the Interim Department Chair
We are off to a great start this year!

First off, congratulations to Ryan Williams and the entire cast & crew of Tom Stoppard’s The Real Inspector Hound for eight great performances! Our students continue to make us very proud with their dedication and enthusiasm for creating collaborative theatre. 

Our next production, This Day Forward, a comedy by Nicky Silver, opens on October 25 th and runs through November 4 th at Austin Playhouse on the Highland Campus. Make your plans to attend and secure your tickets through our online box office.  That link can be found on our website, www.austincc.edu/drama. General admission tickets are $8.00. Please note that this production contains adult language & content and is not recommended for children.

Looking ahead, auditions for our spring opener Well by Lisa Kron will be held November 13 th & 14 th in the Acting Studio. We are excited to have one of our adjunct faculty, Kristen Rogers, direct this production. Kristen has directed several productions in and around Austin and has recently been a guest director for the musical, Little Women at Texas Tech University.  For more information about these auditions, please contact the ACC Drama Department. 

Finally, I am very pleased to report that our proposed Associate of Applied Science in Theatre Technology has been approved by the ACC Curriculums and Programs Committee. It now moves to the ACC Board of Regents for approval. Should that happen, it will continue on to the State Higher Education Coordinating Board for final approval. If all goes well, we hope to launch this new degree program in the Fall of 2020, and ACC will begin providing skilled and viable theatre technicians to theatres all over Austin! 

As always, thank you for your patronage and involvement in our department and events. We hope to see you at This Day Forward

Perry Crafton
Interim Drama Department Chair


Scott Schumann

Interview by ACC Drama Major Alden Kahl
What drew you towards scenic design and how did you get started, both in theatre and more specifically at ACC?

I started out getting a BFA degree in acting, and it wasn’t until I started doing tech as part of a professional acting internship in a Lort D equity theater in Dallas that I realized I loved the constant creative process that is demanded in the technical side of theater. As I started taking on technical assignments, I constantly got positive feedback from my work and eventually was asked to design small projects, which eventually grew into bigger and bigger productions. I think starting out as an actor really helps. I have a mindset of both sides of the production. As far as getting an opportunity to work at ACC, I think what got me noticed, in a state-wide way, was when I was honored as the first ever high school teacher to be selected as the 2012 featured designer for the Texas Educational Theater Association. Which brought me to the notice of Perry Crafton. We knew we would work together someday, and eventually the right project came up in Farragut North .
Farragut North
photo credit: Anne Wharton
Why did you decide to go into public education?

It was never my intent to become a teacher. I was contacted by a principal whose district had just built a state of the art performing arts facility and realized there was known available who was qualified to run it. I had an agreement that I would take a year from my professional career to get the building up and running. Little did I know I would find a knack with teaching young people. I fell in love with shaping the creativity in my students and never left.

What sort of projects are you working now and in the future? 

I had just finished the summer production of Little Shop of Horrors for Wimberly Theater, when ACC and Austin Actors Theater came to me with their productions. I chose ACC’s This Day Forward because of the special relationship with ACC. I am working with Dripping Springs High School with their production of Rumors and the middle schools musical Peter Pan . I try to limit my designing to one every two months, to avoid burnout.

You have a long list of companies and productions you've worked on/for. Is there a particular show who's design you're fond, or proud, of?

One of my favorite projects was getting to work on Bob Hope’s San Antonio Christmas show in 1992. I had grown up watching him and it was a pleasure to meet and work on such a historical show, even though it was a small project. Another of my favorite was getting to design a dinner theater for the Fiesta Texas Theme park. It was called “The Crazy Buffalo Saloon”. It had hidden doorways, and pictures with moving eyes, very “Scooby Doo” like. The theater only lasted one year, but as far as I know the Crazy Buffalo Saloon still exist at the park.

You've worked with ACC in the past, I’m particularly fond of your design for Eurydice . How was designing for that show different to the current ACC production?

Eurydice required a lot of transitional movement, but the Austin Playhouse is a small intimate space. I had to reach into my bag of tricks and come up with ways to make the space work with the show, hence the use of rotating angular platforms and huge hanging wind chimes. The current production is challenging in a different way. How do you travel in location (hotel to apartment) and time (1958-2004), and change mood and style, all in a 15-minute intermission? I think this is the reason this show is not done too much. I hope we came up with a solution that will work. Fingers crossed.
photo credit: Jaden Davis
I understand you’ve designed for Fiesta Texas and that they’re still using those designs. Were there any special considerations you had to make for a set designed to be more permanent?

Yes! Build everything like it will be there forever. Theater sets are temporary, theme parks can be in place for years. When working on the Bugs Bunny White Water Rapids ride for instance. That has been there for 20 years. That’s why I used industrial paints and sealers back in 1998. You have to do research knowing you are fighting the aging process on those type of projects.

You also served as the UIL Director of Technical Design for the state of Texas. What was that like for you?

Amazing! What a great contest. I had the honor of working on the original rule book for the competition before it started while serving on the UIL advisory committee. To watch that competition catch fire and grow to what it is today has been such wonderful experience. When I got to serve as the director of the competition UIL had me travel around the state working at super conferences, connecting on that level with students and teachers really stimulated the creative process not only for them but for me as well. When you saw those same faces months later crossing the stage as you handed them their award, was in itself rewarding. A truly great competition.  

This Day Forward
photo credit: Jamie Rogers


Ruby Morphis

Interview by Jamie Rogers
Where are you from?

I am from a small suburb called Galt in California.

Were you involved in theatre in when you were in high school?

I was involved in both acting and tech for theatre when I was in high school. I took Drama classes when I started high school, but I really got into being a part of productions when I was a junior.

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

I decided to enroll in Austin Community College because I had two siblings enrolled in ACC that told me it had a great environment. I also met Perry Crafton two years ago during an audition for colleges and he made it sound like a great place to be at for acting.

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

Almost all the ACC Drama Department classes could be my favorite, but if I had to choose I’d say that Acting 2 because I really enjoyed learning from the basic Uta Hagen method.

What roles have you performed on and offstage at ACC Drama?

I was a part of the costume crew for Gloria in the Spring, and I recently performed as Moon in The Real Inspector Hound this fall .
You are currently in rehearsals for our upcoming production of This Day Forward. Can you tell us what character you play and what the rehearsal process has been like?

I am performing as the characters Melka and old Irene for This Day Forward. The rehearsal process has been very professional, but still very enjoyable. The cast for this production is just an amazing group of people that I am happy to be acting amongst them. Of course, the stage manager and director are awesome as well. 

Ruby Morphis in dress rehearsals for This Day Forward
photo credit: Perry Crafton
Any favorite ACC Drama Production?

My favorite ACC Drama Production to have watched was All My Sons. It was such a great show and very emotional.

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

I’m a student at ACC enrolled in six classes this fall 2018. I’m not employed at a traditional job, but I do film acting occasionally where I receive payment. I find the balance between school and involvement in the drama department by getting all my school work done in the mornings, before rehearsals, and on weekends so I can dedicate my weeknights to the theatre.

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

If you’re a Drama Major, getting more involved in the department will benefit you so much especially since this kind of career path depends on your ability to make connections with others who are also involved in some way, shape, or form with Drama. A great way to get more involved would be to take the Theater Workshop class about stage management because that class has a lab for being on crew for ACC’s current productions, which is a ton of fun to be a part of and make new friends.  

What does the future hold?

Hopefully, my future holds me moving into a career of film acting in Los Angeles, California and soon because I’ll be graduating from ACC this fall. I’ve made great memories here at ACC and now I’m ready to make some more memories in L.A.  

If attending ACC Drama’s upcoming production of This Day Forward here are REVISED DIRECTIONS TO AUSTIN PLAYHOUSE:

*Please note that due to ACC construction, the South parking lot and the loading dock entrance are currently closed.

You will now be entering the ACC Highland campus at the intersection of Highland Mall Boulevard and Jonathan. There is a four-way stop there. Enter the parking lot on Jonathan, which will take you directly to the correct entrance on the North side of campus. ACC will not ticket our patrons' cars.

Take the escalator or elevator down to the lower level. Turn right. Austin Playhouse will be on your right, by the water feature.

PERRY CRAFTON has been voted President-Elect of the Texas Educational Theatre Association.

YESENIA GARCIA HERRINGTON recently completed a National New Play Network rolling world premiere of  The Madres , and she is currently co-starring in These Colors Don't Run , a short film that is airing on HBO Latino.

Yesenia also just completed a one year term on the B. Iden Payne Council, and she is currently serving a multi-year term as a statewide committee member for a Field of Study Committee in Drama sponsored by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

This fall, she will be directing  Ugly Lies the Bone  by Lindsey Ferrentino at Central Texas College.

Yesenia is also the bilingual voice behind the TxTag Customer Service Hotline.

CARRIE KAPLAN was accepted into the Project ACC Faculty Cohort Fellowship and was also selected for the Great Questions Faculty Training Seminar through the Humanities department.

KRISTEN ROGERS is currently directing the one and only Jaston Williams in his newest one-man show, Clear to Partly Crazy. The show played at the Charles W. Eisemann Center in Richardson, TX, this past weekend. Coming up, you can catch the show next Saturday, November 3, or Sunday, November 4, at Fredericksburg Theater Company.
For more information, please visit: http://www.fredericksburgtheater.org/

Kristen is also currently directing the Palace Production Company's production of the musical The Secret Garden at the Georgetown Palace Theatre Playhouse. Performances will be the first weekend of December. For more information, please visit: http://www.georgetownpalace.com/
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
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