What is life like in America?
11.02.2015 | By Rob Vanya
‘United States’ chronicles life journey of a typical local couple
What is life like in America? The San Jacinto College South Campus theatre department offers a snapshot view by chronicling the life journey of a typical local couple in the compelling musical drama “United States,” an original collaborative play written by local performing artists.
The show will be presented in the Marie Flickinger Fine Arts Center’s Black Box Theatre, located on the South Campus at 13735 Beamer in Houston. Show dates are Nov. 12, 13, 14, 19, 20 and 21 with an 8 p.m. curtain time for each production. Tickets are $10 per person at the door. San Jacinto College students are admitted free.
“United States” follows Richard (portrayed by San Jacinto College student John Michael Hoke) and Janette (played by guest artist Ashleigh Painter) as each one pursues fulfillment and happiness in the midst of distractions and setbacks. Along the way, they encounter joys and sorrows, successes and failures.
“In the end, Richard and Janette learn that true happiness, true peace, true bliss can only come from a place within yourself where love overrides fear,” commented Kevin Holden, San Jacinto College theatre professor and director of the show. Holden also helped to write the script.
The plot is enhanced by songs composed mostly by local musicians. Only one song in the script (a Joni Mitchell selection) is not an original composition.
The show is the result of like-minded performing artists working together. “I was hanging out with musician friends during the summer who said they had an idea for a show,” Holden said. “I told them if they could provide the music, then I would see about coming up with a concept. ‘United States’ is the result of that experience. We like to do original work, to sort of push the envelope, to create a new style of theatre that involves close collaboration.”
In addition to Holden, songwriters and scriptwriters include local performing artists Ashleigh and Danny Painter, Kevin Jones, Colin Brock, and Raa’Shane Tansiel. The Painters, from Deer Park, perform in a local band, Painting Blue Birds. Jones is a theatre instructor at San Jacinto College with playwright experience. Brock is a San Jacinto College alumnus who has won acting awards. Tansiel graduated from Dobie High School and is a San Jacinto College alumni who now works for the College.
Ticket prices for “United States” are $10 per person at the door. San Jacinto College students are admitted free. The show contains adult content and language.
San Jacinto College offers theatre degrees and classes at the South and Central campuses. For more information, please visit sanjac.edu/career/theatre-film.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.