Setting facts straight on 'Boys' Life'

Friday, December 18, 2009

A story in last week's SE Live prompted a few clarifications and corrections.

The story about "Boys' Life" called Dr. Kenn Stilson a professor and chair of the department of theater and dance. He is the former and no longer the latter. Stilson hasn't been chair of the department since his wonderful wife, Rhonda Weller-Stilson, took over in May 2008 as the interim department chair and signed on in May 2009 as the official department chair.

Rhonda is a sweet and talented presence, who's designed enough costumes to bury and suffocate me should she be upset enough by my oversight in this error; luckily, her passion is production, not revenge.

Moving on, a few people wrote in to say this was not, in fact, the first student-directed play in the department, that students in directing classes are presenting their projects in a forum open for public viewing and have been for years.

That's true and that's wonderful -- to see the raw talent of these students and the practical applications of the lessons they've learned.

Students in all the theater classes open their semester projects to the public. An audience completes a theater production. Students have also been putting on plays with modest budgets collected from various organizations.

We said it was the first student-run production of its kind, meaning as a part of the Second Stages series, with ticket sales and promotions and presented as a professional product with university funding, marketing and promotion. The Second Stages series is the formal incarnation of those student-level plays mentioned in the previous paragraph. True, everything done under the Second Stages label can be considered the "first" something, but it's the department funding and university support that make this production different.

The Second Stages Series will have two staged readings and one full production each semester and also the Last Chance to Dance showcase. It seems to me that organizing this series is simply another chance for the department to provide the students with opportunities to grow.

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