Professor’s production to be a highlight of theatre festival
PASADENA, Texas – A highlight of the American College Theatre Festival, hosted by the San Jacinto College (SJC) Central theatre and film department, will be the production of an original one-act play written by SJC English professor Dr. David LeMaster.
The public performance of LeMaster’s humorous farce “What’s Past is Prologue” is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Powell Arena Theatre, located at 8060 Spencer Hwy., in Pasadena. The admission charge is $10 per person.
LeMaster says he originally wrote the script for “What’s Past is Prologue” as a part of a group of short works about Shakespeare. “The rest of the shorts fit together quite nicely, but this one didn’t fit at all,” he commented. “The inspiration for the play was hearing the millionth ‘Shakespeare Conspiracy Theory’ claiming Shakespeare couldn’t possibly have written such complex works. I had to address the question myself in the most unique manner possible.”
Like Shakespeare, LeMaster attempts to relate to people on many levels, from children to academics. “Many probably will not get all six levels, but many will find something that appeals to them, whether it’s seeing Shakespeare in a swordfight, hearing Marlowe struggle with iambic pentameter, or watching a little interpretive dance,” he remarked.
The storyline is based on a theory that noted English dramatist Christopher Marlowe is the true author of Shakespeare’s renowned works. “Using unverifiable evidence with Internet sources and a good look at Wikipedia, the play successfully argues that Marlowe became Shakespeare by order of Queen Elizabeth, who ordered a potion from an apothecary that turned an incompetent, sniveling, poet into the Bard,” LeMaster said. “The only problem is, the stage isn’t big enough for both of them. On guard!”
LeMaster, who lives in Clear Lake, is a noted playwright whose works have been performed in schools and theaters around the world. He won the Coleman Jenkins Award for Children’s Theatre, and was the co-winner of the national Three Genres One-Act Play Award.
Other plays in the festival will be presented from Oct. 20-22 at either the Central Campus’ Slocomb Auditorium, or the Powell Arena Theatre. All shows are open to the public, and general admission to every play is $10 per person. Other colleges participating in the festival include Angelo State University, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Lone Star College - Montgomery, and Lone Star College - Kingwood.
Another SJC entry in the competition will be Georg Büchner’s “Woyzeck,” a full-length play to be performed by the South Campus theatre department. “Woyzeck” will be performed on Thursday, Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Slocomb Auditorium. In the show, the main character Woyzeck is an impoverished soldier in a small town, bullied by his captain and subjected to bizarre medical experimentation by an army doctor. Woyzeck’s nerves are already strained when he begins to suspect that his common-law wife, Marie, is having an affair with a drum major. Through a series of vignettes, the play charts his increasing distrust and anger until, overcome with jealousy and despair, Woyzeck is driven to destroy the only thing he has ever loved.
The winners of the theatre festival will be announced at an awards ceremony on Oct. 22, at 4 p.m.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The College, an Achieving the Dream Leader College, is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in over 140 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. Our graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
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