In 2006 and again in 2016, the Theater Department of the Mountain View Campus, in cooperation with the "Mark Wilson" Magic Club, produced "Howard's Fun Shop and Magic Emporium," a play by MVC's own Randy Clower, adapted from "Howard's Fun Shop," a short story written by MVC English professor and magic club sponsor Dr. Geoff Grimes.
The story and play were inspired by Dr. Grimes's childhood experiences of his annual trek to Houston's magic store, Howard's Fun Shop, where young Doc fed his passion for magical entertainment.
"Howard Campbell," says Doc Grimes, "always made me feel--every time I walked into his store--that I was the only reason he had gotten out of bed that morning. He always made me feel like I was something special in his day."
[Right: Playwright Randy Clower]
The Theater Program at Mountain View has always been robust. Rod Wilson, the late theater director, was instrumental in founding the Performing Artists Musical Theater Conservatory that provided students from throughout the Southwest with a certificate, recognizing their training in all aspects of musical theater.
Children's theater began in 1979, the joint inspiration of the Theater, Dance, and Music Departments. Composed, acted, and directed by college students and the teaching faculty of each department, the children's plays attracted thousands of area public elementary school children and their parents to the campus, a phenomenal extension service program and marketing opportunity for the college. Each year for more than a decade, schools booked field trips a year in advance to secure their students places in the annual performances.
On the 50th anniversary of MVC Theater productions, former students come back to reminisce and celebrate!
WATCH THEIR CELEBRATIONS AND CLIPS FROM THEIR SHOWS
Playwright Randy Clower, MVC college videographer, theater technician and actor, brings to life "Howard's Fun Shop," a short story by Geoffrey Grimes.
The 2016 production featured student actors from the Mountain View College Theater and Dance Departments and Will Baffle, Illusionist. Playwright Randy Clower and author Geoff Grimes make cameo appearances.
Created entirely by college faculty and staff, featuring Mountain View student actors, the "Kids Shows" attracted thousands of area school children to the college. Former student and the college's videographer, Randy Clower joins other MVC staff in reflecting on the history of the theater programs.