During the pandemic, Alex Owens, technical director, has been the beating heart of the Theater Department and the guiding brain for our virtual productions. Working tirelessly every single day to make sure that our students and personnel are safe while they are working in the theater, he hit the ground running when our live productions were canceled, learning new technologies and teaching both students and faculty how to use them.
Not once did Alex waver in his enthusiasm and support for our student actors, designers, and technicians. His good humor and optimism have been the fuel for our productions since March. He has spent weeks packing and shipping boxes of costumes and equipment to actors’ homes all over the country and now to their dorms all over the campus. He has held hundreds of personal meetings with students to help them learn to become their own technical directors in whatever spaces they are harboring. He has led our design teams and directors to figure out how to deliver creative productions to our Lafayette audiences via Zoom, YouTube, Vimeo, and whatever other platforms we might need. And he has done all this with patience and a smile. When we are frustrated trying to combine the worst of film with the worst of live theater, Alex tells us all how much he is enjoying watching our students work, how important he believes our arts are to our mental health.
Alex has always had big shoulders. This year, in particular, those shoulders are supporting theater at Lafayette in just about every way we could have imagined, and our whole community is most grateful. It’s time to play. —Suzanne Westfall, professor and head of theater