A new introductory theater design course is coming to Motlow State Community College, along with a new instructor to join the Arts and Humanities team. Kenton Jones, who previously taught at Indianapolis University, will teach the new course at the college’s Moore County campus.
The theatrical design will focus on the basic elements of the design as well as the theatrical design process from script to production. The course is for anyone interested in theater, art, design or architecture. Students will be involved in reading and analyzing game scripts, learning and experiencing design elements, and working with others. It will offer hands-on experience in drafting, watercolor painting and building scale models of student designs. In addition to the new course, Jones teaches children’s theater and introductory theater at Motlow.
“This course can be invaluable for future interior designers, art students or engineers. An eye for design can come in handy in many areas, ”said Emily Seal, associate professor of drama and communication. “In addition, design is a prerequisite for other theater courses that students will need to graduate to four-year colleges. By taking this course early on, Motlow students will ensure their abilities graduate on time.
Although new to Motlow, Jones is not new to teaching. He previously taught Stage and Set Design at Indianapolis University, Introduction to Theater at the University of Memphis, and Introduction to Stage Design and Technology at Eastern Michigan University (EMU), among several other teaching positions and courses.
“I am delighted to teach theater design at Motlow,” Jones exclaimed.
A stage store is currently installed at Eoff Hall on the Moore County Campus in Motlow and it will help define that space.
“I plan to fill it with power tools, paint and brushes. I will show students how to build sets, make props and basic performing arts skills. The work we are creating could even appear on stage next year. he said. “Above all, the class will be fun!
“Students will learn valuable skills like drawing and creating models. They’ll come away with designs they can be proud of and use to sell to four-year colleges, ”Seal said.
Jones, originally from St. Joseph, Missouri, has previous experience in stage design, film, prop design and set decorating, and as a stage artist. He has skills in 2D and 3D Vectorworks, digital rendering, painting, carpentry and puppetry.
He received an MA in Fine Arts from the University of Memphis, an MA in Applied Dramatic Arts and Youth Theater from UEM, and a BA in Speech and Drama from the University of Iowa.
In addition, he received the Ostrander Award for Set Design at the University of Memphis, a Graduate School Award for Excellence in Theater at the EMU, and two Drama-Logue Awards for work performed at the Colony Studio Theater.
“What I like about teaching is that it helps me discover more about a subject that I have studied.
studying for most of my life. Students frequently ask a question or point out something
on contemporary life which changes my way of seeing a subject. I also like to see ‘light bulb moments’ when they suddenly understand something and relate it to their own experience, ”Jones continued. “I have been involved in theater most of my life: actor, director, writer, producer and evolving into stage artist and designer. Motlow intrigued me because of the rural setting. I had lived and worked in big cities and wanted to return to a quieter, more peaceful neighborhood. The students here are very down to earth, polite, and seem genuinely interested.
“Kenton has worked professionally across the country to design and build sets. His expertise in theater design is unlike any Motlow has known before, ”Seal said.