Set designs at the Arts Magnet High School

I had read about the Arts Magnet High School in downtown Dallas. Full name: Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts. I called the school and, after some connections and discussions, I was asked to help out in the Design area as a Teaching Assistant. I was still in graduate school and thought this would be a good gig while in school. I was hired full-time for the next fall, 1979 and taught for two years, 1979-81. Here's the full story. I was hired by two departments - Art and Theater. I taught art classes, Basic Design and Drawing, in the morning and theater classes, Prop Design and Set Design, in the afternoon. It was fun because I got to know students in 2 of the school's 4 departments (the others were Dance and Music). I also helped out the Stagecraft teacher, Roger Richards. We worked together in that I and my students designed the sets and he and his students built the sets. I designed stage sets in high school and college and it was fun to get back in the shop and create the magic that happens on the stage of live theater. I loved teaching high school. It was very satisfying to serve as a role model for these young kids.

The Crucible
This classic drama by Arthur Miller is the story of the Salem witch trials makes a statement about the Communist witch hunt of the 1950s. The floating platforms formed a semicircle with the end tow platforms jutting out into the theater seats. The arch theme was repeated in the proscenium arch that framed a silhouette of a town with the church steeple dominating the scene.
Rendering of the set design

Fotos from the production






The Matchmaker
The play that was turned into the Broadway musical Hello Dolly.






The Inspector General, class production




Under the Gaslight, a melodrama








Dates
Mexican Folklore Dances: 1964
For Heaven's Sake, PHPC: July 1967
The Girls in 509, Hillcrest: December 1967
Spring Thaw, Hillcrest: Spring 1968
The Drunkard, Camptown Theater, Summer 1968
Sweetheart Presentation, UT: 1970
Yes, No & Yellow, 1976
The Crucible, BTWHSV&PA: 1980
Under the Gaslight, BTWHSV&PA: 1980
The Matchmaker, BTWHSV&PA: 1981

Some students




Faculty colleagues

Wanda Hill and George Moseley

Floor plans of the school
I taught in P-1, Portable building 1 and in 216, the Old Gallery on the second floor.


The classroom Year 2 in the portable



Science teacher Tom Asher's trip to Arkansas and Branson
David Opalecky(?), Trysh Travis, Daniel Webster,Katy Pybas, Craig Stoddard



Jim's study tour to New York City


In Washington Square after Charlie Barnett's performance.

www.jamesrobertwatson.com/amhssets.html