Production of comedy farce ‘Play On!’ opens Feb. 17

BAYTOWN, TX — An energetic cast of students and talented special guests will perform in the Lee College Theatre production of the lighthearted comedic farce “Play On!,” set to premiere this Friday, Feb. 17, at the Performing Arts Center (PAC) on campus.

“Play On!” will begin at 7:30 p.m., in the PAC Black Box Theatre. Additional performances will be held at 7:30 p.m., nightly on Feb. 18, 24 and 25. Tickets for all four shows are available for purchase online at www.lee.edu/pac, or by calling the Box Office at 281.425.6255.

Written by Rick Abbot, “Play On!” begins as the local community theatre rehearses for their production of a new murder mystery called “Murder Most Foul.” The anxious cast members, backstage support and director Gerry feel under siege from the meddling amateur playwright, who agreed to let the company perform the show for no charge. Gerry thought producing the play would be a good idea but had no inkling of the disasters that awaited her – namely, an overwhelmingly sloppy and slapdash murder mystery with no real murder in the plot, a disgruntled cast and a playwright who deletes the entire sound effect board and keeps changing the story and script just two days before its premiere. All of these calamities come to fruition in Act III, when the company performs the actual show with hilarious mishaps and missteps at every turn.

Directed by guest artist Marc Anthony Glover with the production guidance of Lee College theater instructor Kim Martin, the “Play On!” cast includes students Samantha Duran, Abigail Vernier, Alexis Grusecki and Beth Powell. Alumnus Triston Haq also appears, along with special guests Susan Walker, Josh Figueroa, Bryan Rivera and Bailey Smith. Alex Musgrove will make her first local appearance in the show since returning to Baytown from New York City.

Chad Arrington and Alyssa Torres will be stage managers for the production, with Amy Miller Martin and Blaine Glover-Garcia serving as assistant directors. Rounding out the technical crew are Logan Romero, Gilbert Perez, Aria Giacona, Sonia Valdovinos, Josh Gonzales, Alyssa Carter and John Arrington.

The final Lee College Theatre production of the 2016-17 season will be William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which will debut at the PAC in late April. Open auditions for the play will be held Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 27-28. For more details about “Play On!” or the upcoming auditions, contact Martin at hmartin@lee.edu.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

‘Rocket Girl’ looks at first female rocket scientist in U.S.

As the first female rocket scientist in the United States, Mary Sherman Morgan was a living legend — and the Lee College Theatre Department will soon bring her incredible story to the stage.

“Rocket Girl” will debut at 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 20, at the Melva Johnson Black Box Theatre inside the Performing Arts Center. Additional performances are set for 8 p.m. nightly on Feb. 21, 27 and 28; 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 22 and March 1; and 7:30 p.m. on March 5, in support of the spring meeting of the Texas section of the American Association of Physics Teachers that will be held on campus.

“The play recognizes the continued struggle to support, acknowledge and encourage underrepresented members of our society in their struggle for opportunities and advancement,” said Kim Martin, director and technical theatre instructor. “We have assembled a fairly large cast of experienced as well as new actors, and I believe their performances will reflect both their hard work in rehearsals and their commitment to those ideals.”

Written by her son, George, “Rocket Girl” explores Morgan’s journey from a harsh and difficult childhood to her work at North American Aviation in the 1950s as the only woman among 900 engineers. She is credited with developing Hydyne, the fuel used to launch America’s first successful rocket in 1957.

The play also pulls back the curtain on the tensions surrounding the United States and former Soviet Union as both countries raced to be the first to launch a rocket into orbit around the Earth.

“It presents a time of great drama and passion in recent American history, when the free world turned to the United States to make strategic advancements in the implementation of science and technology to make sure that these advancements would serve democratic goals of space exploration,” Martin said.

Tickets for each performance of “Rocket Girl” are $15, and available to purchase online at leecollegeonline.com/pac. Discounted tickets are available for students. For more information about the production, contact Martin at hmartin@leecollegeonline.com.