Theater is alive and well in Baytown even though I have neglected my blog. The Martin family had a special summer theater experience when ten Martins participated in the Baytown Little Theater’s 2013 production of Fiddler on the Roof. Those ten represented 4 generations of Martins. Kim’s dad, Kelly, played the Rabbi and his mom, JoAn, was a member of the female chorus. Kim played the Constable and I was part of the female chorus. Our youngest son, Ryan, played Fyedka and his wife, Amy, played a leading role as Golde. Our oldest son, Jason, played the role of Morcha, the innkeeper, and Jason’s wife, Kari, was part of the female chorus. Their two kids (our grandchildren), Aidan and Regan, were children in the play. We all had a long summer working on the play, but a good time singing and dancing together on stage. I know Big Daddy/Kim was happy we all were able to put the 4 generations of the Martin family on the BLT stage in the same play.
At the close of Fiddler, Jason and his family moved to Belton, TX where he started a new job with the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor. Packing and making preparations for that move amid rehearsals, performances, and jobs made for a challenging summer for them. They had already pretty much moved their belongings in stages during the summer so that the day after the play closed, they were able to drive away. We have missed them living closer, but since that move, Kari has still traveled the 3 hours back to Houston for three days out of every week to work. Recently, Kari has been hired to work for Baylor University in Waco, a much closer commute for her. We are so very proud of them and what they do for and with their family.
In addition to performing in the musical, the start of our summer was spent following the progress of the BLT’s award winning play, God of Carnage. Ryan and Amy were featured in a 4-person ensemble performing in the American Association of Community Theatre’s International play contest. After advancing through each level of competition, God of Carnage advanced all the way to Nationals held in Carmel, Indiana last June. Just after being cast in Fiddler, Kim and I followed the troupe in a U-Haul with the set all the way to Indiana to watch them perform. The cast was outstanding winning many awards and placing 2nd in the competition as runner up national winners. Of course, we think they were robbed, deserving of 1st place; we couldn’t be prouder of the actors and crew for their perseverance and talent.
The Texas Nonprofit Theaters (TNT) support new playwrights and sponsor a POPS festival on alternate years to showcase new scripts and playwrights. There are up to 100 scripts submitted in the competition for reading by a committee of judges. As the top scripts are narrowed down, five playwrights win the privilege of having their play staged and produced by a TNT member community theater. The Baytown Little Theater has participated twice to produce a new theatrical work. Kim directed and I assisted him working on the new play, Dream Date. Ryan played a leading role and performed alongside three other cast members one weekend in October. It was a fun special time to work with Ryan, Kim and our other theater friends on this project.
In addition to working on so many plays, Kim resigned his job teaching in Deer Park ISD and took a new position with the Lee Community College faculty here in Baytown. He is the new technical theater director and began his duties last June, 2013 with all the other drama he had going on. He is learning a new skill in the world of academia and even though it has meant long hard hours of work and learning, I believe he is doing it very well. This fall semester, in addition to teaching classes, Kim has directed a student performance of the improv piece, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. Our son, Ryan, participated in that project as well as several other BLT actors, along with Kim’s college students. He has driven the college van a few times to expose students to live theater in Houston. I was able to go along with him and the students to the Alley Theater’s production of You Can’t Take it With You, to the Wortham Theater to see the opera, Aida, in which the Lee College choral director was performing. Kim is now in the middle of rehearsals for his Christmas production, Mrs. Bob Cratchet’s Wild Christmas Binge, which will be performed the second weekend in December. Then, he will hopefully rest for a few weeks in between semesters playing audience member at the BLT New Year’s Eve production, Always, Patsy Cline. Kim will never slow down much, but I’m glad he is busy doing what he loves. Theater!
Okay, this has been a Dramawife catch-up of what the Martins are up to in theater. I hope you were informed and will consider visiting us soon either at the Baytown Little Theater or the Lee College Performing Arts Center.