The Front Row: West Texas Education Project

May 9, 2018

A graduate student at the Texas Tech University School of Theatre and Dance launched a collaborative project between the school of theatre and dance, Odessa College and Odessa’s Globe Theatre. Alec Williams, graduate student, visits with the Front Row to talk about that collaboration.

Tell us about you and your background, and what brought you to Texas Tech.

I got my associated degree in music from Odessa College and I was looking at different schools and Texas Tech provided the best options and it was the closest form me to attend. So I came here. I got my bachelor’s in music—in vocal performance—and then I proceeded to go to the theatre department because they were providing the best opportunity in the area…

Now you’re in the graduate school and you came up with a very inventive and very unique idea. When did this begin to take root in your mind?

So in fall of 2016 I took an independent study with Gerald Dolter, of Lubbock Moonlight Musicals. He was giving me arts administration independent study. We were going over the history of Lubbock Moonlight Musicals, how to create opportunities within the local environment and also—maybe on a larger scale—national environment. The next semester I wanted to take the independent study again and he tasked me with creating a project that will fulfill a need in the community of Lubbock or any other place.

So I originally started out with a dinner theatre, but it eventually evolved into what became the West Texas Education Project. The West Texas Education Project is a collaboration between Odessa College, Odessa Arts, Lubbock Moonlight Musicals and even students from Texas Tech University to bring a theatrical workshop to students in the Odessa area that don’t necessarily have means to that education. So, that means technical theatre classes, such as stage management, makeup classes, set design, light design—these are all things that they don’t have access to. This is something that my education in Lubbock has brought to me personally. I wanted to give it back to the community that I was raised in.

Listen to the full interview at the top of the article.