Mel Edwards is the Technical Director at Rouse High School in Leander ISD. She was born and raised in Roma, Texas, right on the border of Texas and Mexico. She has been teaching technical theatre for 9 years and has started an online shop, Mighty With All Trades, as a way to celebrate the individuals that make theatre happen. Mel is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and has worked as a scenic carpenter at The Studio Theatre in Washington, DC and as a cabinet maker/finisher prior to becoming a theatre teacher.
When did you first know you wanted to be a theatre educator?
My husband suggested I look into teaching theatre. I had no interest in acting but to my surprise, technical theatre was gaining traction in schools. I got my alternative certification and applied to one job and started the theatre tech program at Belton High School. In college I never intended to be a teacher but I have grown to really love what I do. I enjoy sharing my knowledge with my students and empowering them. As the technical theatre world continues to grow I find myself wanting to be an advocate for new technical theatre directors and want my industry to have the representation it deserves.
What are the three most important things you value as a theatre educator?
My honesty, my ambition and my integrity: If you are gonna do something, anything, do it right, make it pretty, clean up the edges, wipe up the glue. That can go a long way.
How has the Texas Educational Theatre Association helped you?
Theatre Fest has allowed me to make connections with my fellow educators and has provided a platform for me to share what I know to others.
What advice would you give to women in technical theatre?
As a woman in technical theatre you have to be really good because it isn’t necessarily going to be embraced. I have always been a firm believer that in order to empower others you first have to empower yourself.
What is the most creative you have ever felt while working on a show?
I actually feel the most creative when I CAD my set pieces. It is definitely amazing seeing it go from paper to stage and the kids are able to see what it is that they are working towards.
What is something you do to continue to grow and develop your skill and inspire creativity?
I love learning and making things. I’m always looking up youtube tutorial videos on Arduino, LED wiring, cosplay, 3D printing, sublimation, painting, woodworking, anything really.There is just something about making an object from nothing that is so fascinating to me.
Link to article here:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NXsoAMA_wa571-XqfTDywg83M_lBq7zy5PwvtWgpWvw/edit