LOCAL NEWS — A new Introduction to Theatre Design course is coming to Motlow State Community College, as well as a new instructor to join the Arts and Humanities team. Kenton Jones, who previously taught at University of Indianapolis, will teach the new course at the College’s Moore County campus.
Theatre Design will focus on the basic elements of design as well as the process of theatrical design from script to production. The course is for anyone interested in theatre, art, design, or architecture. Students will be involved in reading and analyzing play scripts, learning and experiencing elements of design, and collaborating with others. It will offer hands-on experience in drafting, watercolor, and building scale models of student designs. In addition to the new course, Jones teaches Children’s Drama and Introduction to Theatre at Motlow.
“This class can be valuable for future interior designers, art students, or engineers. An eye for design can serve you well in many walks of life,” said Theatre and Communication Associate Professor Emily Seal. “Additionally, Design is a prerequisite for other theatre classes students will need to graduate at four-year colleges. By taking this class early on, Motlow students will ensure their ability graduate on time.”
While new to Motlow, Jones is not new to teaching. He has previously taught Scene Design and Stagecraft at University of Indianapolis, Introduction to Theatre at the University of Memphis, and Introduction to Scenic Design and Technology at Eastern Michigan University (EMU), among several other teaching positions and courses.
“I am excited about teaching Theatre Design at Motlow,” exclaimed Jones.
A scene shop is currently being installed in Eoff Hall on Motlow’s Moore County campus and he will help in defining that space.
“I plan to fill it with power tools, paint, and brushes. I’ll show students how to build scenery, make props, and basic scenic art skills. The work we create may even show up on stage next year.” he said. “Mainly, the class will be fun!”
“Students will learn valuable skills like drafting and model creating. They will walk away with creations they can be proud of and use to market themselves to four-year colleges,” said Seal.
Jones, originally from St. Joseph, Mo., has prior experience in scenic design, film, props design and set decoration, and as a scenic charge artist. He possesses skills in Vectorworks 2D and 3D, digital rendering, painting, carpentry, and puppetry.
He completed a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Memphis, a Master of Fine Arts in Applied Drama and Theatre for Youth at EMU, and a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Dramatic Art at the University of Iowa.
Additionally, he was awarded the Ostrander Award for Set Design at the University of Memphis, a Graduate School Award for Excellence in Theatre at EMU, and two Drama-Logue Awards for work done at the Colony Studio Theatre.
“What I like about teaching is it helps me discover more about a subject I have been studying for most of my life. Students frequently ask a question or point something out about contemporary life that changes how I view a topic. I also love seeing ‘light bulb moments’ when they suddenly understand something and relate it to their own experience,” Jones continued. “I have been involved in theatre most of my life: acting, directing, writing, producing, and evolving into a scenic artist and designer. Motlow intrigued me due to the rural setting. I had been living and working in big cities, and wanted to return to a quieter, more peaceful area. Students here are very down to earth, polite, and seem genuinely interested.”
“Kenton has worked professionally all over the country designing and building sets. His expertise in theatre design is unlike any Motlow has had before,” said Seal.
For more information about Motlow’s theatre program, visit mscc.edu/academics/programs/humanities/speech-and-theatre