BROWNWOOD – February 22, 2016 – Nick Ewen, assistant professor of theatre at Howard Payne University, presented two workshops at the annual Texas Educational Theatre Association (TETA) TheatreFest convention in Dallas last month. The workshops were titled “Lord Nick’s Armor Tricks” and “Roles, Souls and Holy Goals: How to Act as a Christian.”
“Lord Nick’s Armor Tricks” is a workshop that Ewen, a 2002 HPU graduate, has presented many times since 2006. The workshop is about inexpensive, alternative ways for schools to make costumes for theatre productions. Ewen came up with the idea for the workshop unintentionally but out of necessity. Construction and financial constraints led Ewen to create his own homemade armor. Ewen bought inexpensive items from local stores and transformed them into the costumes he needed.
“Costumes are expensive and are a large part of a production budget,” said Ewen. “Costume design is not what I do. This was something fun I tried and it turned out to be a big hit as a workshop.”
The armor workshop led to Ewen’s newer workshop, “Roles, Souls and Holy Goals: How to Act as a Christian.” Ewen said that he felt God was calling him to do something more, so he created a workshop for Christians in educational theatre. At this well-attended TETA workshop, Ewen taught educators that they and their students can put on a great theatre production without compromising their Christian beliefs and integrity.
“The work some schools do in theatre is shocking,” said Ewen. “When high school students audition for scholarships each year, about 75 percent of the auditions include very adult themes –things that aren’t appropriate and that I wouldn’t want my kids to think about or say. These situations are difficult, so I wanted to have a workshop at TETA to talk about what it means to be a Christian in theatre.”
Some of Ewen’s goals for the workshop were to acknowledge his personal relationship with God among a large group of his Texas theatre co-educators, to share his personal revelations about the nature of Christianity as it relates to the profession of theatre and to share in a discussion about the challenges and blessings of being a Christ follower in the role of a “servant artist.”
“I am so proud to have been able to represent HPU at TETA and to have had the opportunity to show many Texas theatre educators who are Christians that they are not alone,” said Ewen.
For more info about HPU’s theatre department, please contact the School of Music and Fine Arts at 325-649-8500.
Photo cutline: Nick Ewen presented a Christian workshop at the TETA convention in Dallas last month.