HPU provost steps out of the office and onto the stage
By Megan Haverlah, Howard Payne University sophomore
BROWNWOOD – December 5, 2011 – Entertainment on Howard Payne University’s campus is not just for students, and most certainly does not just involve students. At HPU, faculty and staff strive to be a part of students’ everyday lives. Dr. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer, showed an example of his involvement with student activities in the recent production of the South Pacific musical.
Dr. Tew was asked by Dr. Celeste Church, associate professor of music, if he would consider starring alongside students in the university’s Homecoming presentation of the musical.
His character, Captain Brackett, was responsible for leading his skilled crew in completing a very difficult and highly important task.
“Dr. Tew was perfect for the role – he certainly was able to keep the cast on their toes just as a chief officer would in the South Pacific,” Dr. Church said. “I know Dr. Tew enjoyed interacting with the students through rehearsals and during the show, just as they enjoyed getting to know him. We had some fun and he helped our students grow in ways they never anticipated.”
Playing the entertaining role, Dr. Tew had audiences laughing and enjoying the show.
“The fictional nature of the story allowed me to have some fun with the character,” he said, “but the footlights always fade, and I was happy to return to my daily routine.”
Dr. Tew said he enjoyed practicing and working with students.
“Howard Payne has the best students,” he said. “It was an honor to join in their efforts.”
Students learned Dr. Tew has an enjoyable personality and were glad to see him in a different setting.
“At first, I expected him to be like the serious, stern officer depicted in the show," said Allen Andrus, a sophomore from Anson who also had a role in the play. “However, he ended up being the source of great comic relief. With his incredible wit and great comedic timing, he left all of us hanging, waiting to figure out what exactly he would say next. He did a great job and I have nothing but great reviews about him.”
Dr. Tew credits the musical’s success to all those involved in the production.
“The entire performance was magnificent because of the diligent efforts of Dr. Celeste Church, Dr. Gregory Church, Dr. Nancy Humfeld and Mr. Nick Ewen, and because of the talent and hard work of all the performers and theatrical assistants,” he said. “Additionally, I express my deepest appreciation to our musicians for their talented performance, especially the talents of our faculty, Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, Dr. Allen Reed and Professor Stephen Goacher.”
Dr. Tew has a deep appreciation for HPU’s theatre program.
“Howard Payne theatre is one of the hallmarks of our university,” he said. “I am committed to helping us grow such efforts in the future.”
Dr. Mark Tew, HPU provost and chief academic officer, rehearses a scene during the university’s production of South Pacific.
Photo by Megan Haverlah