Disney’s “Mulan” is performed during the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival by the children’s theatre department.

Written by Tiffany Logue

Staff Writer

   Disney’s “Mulan” was one of a handful of plays performed during the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival. 

   The performance I viewed was on opening night, June 24.

   The play was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed watching the outcome of the OSF’s hard work and the children’s pride in showing their talent.

   “Mulan” was the children’s theatre production directed by SE’s Riley Coker. According to the cast of characters given out at the door, there were about 60 actors for “Mulan.”

   I never imagined so many children would be involved.

   One complaint I did have for the play was that there were so many male parts being played by girls.  However, I realize that it is a complaint the OSF staff could not have changed. They could not force more boys to agree to participate.

   In the play, Mulan, played by Paxton Ezell, stands in for her father when the Chinese military drafts him to go to war. She is guided by her lucky cricket, played by Kristen Bryant and the guardian that her ancestors sent to help and guide her—Mushuthe dragon—played by Kathleen Murray.

   Ezell did a wonderful job playing Mulan. She captured Disney’s version of Mulan very well and helped the younger children remember to sit and when to go offstage.

  The one problem Ezell had to face was when her portable microphone box fell from her costume.  She did a very good job of trying to not let the audience notice the problem and replaced it offstage.

   The character I found to be my favorite was Mushu. Of course, it is no surprise that Mushu is the one I loved most because Disney’s lovable dragon, played by Eddie Murphy, was my pick too.

   Murray did a fantastic job of portraying Murphy’s character in the OSF play.  She was the comic relief for the play that kept me laughing.

   I also loved the long dragon all of the characters helped bring out for the celebration scene in “Mulan.”  It took approximately 15 children to carry it out and down the aisle of Montgomery Auditorium. 

   It helped the audience love the play more because the dragon brightened up the play.  The dragon came out during the upbeat music for the Chinese celebration and danced throughout the auditorium a few times.  As the children made it dance, the dragon helped the audience become entertained and amused.

   The dragon also helped the characters who were not as frequently seen to enjoy themselves. There were not many big roles, and it gave the actors of the smaller roles a chance to be seen more frequently as well.  It was a great idea for the play.

   The dragon helped me feel like I stepped into a festival in China. I always think of dragons as a symbol for Chinese culture. Therefore, having the large dragon was a wonderful surprise.

   Another compliment I have for “Mulan” was the way the cast worked together during the play.  It is never easy to keep small children’s attention for long. However, the children who took part in “Mulan” were great at working together and showing the audience that the SE OSF staff helped them succeed at teamwork.

 

Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival's children and teen casts of "Mulan" and "Grease" productions.OSF's children's theatre production of "Mulan."

 

Great EHL Cookie Challenge delivers cookies to 45th Division of National Guard in Afghanistan

Written by Tiffany Logue

Staff Writer

In support of the local National Guard, Southeastern’s Department of English, Humanities and Languages contributed money in remembrance of the 45th Division who left for Afghanistan in June.

Dr. Paula Allen said the idea for sending cookies to the local troops came up last year. She explained that while selling Girl Scout Cookies an ex-service man came to purchase their cookies.

“He told me we should send as many as we can overseas because they love them, they travel well and they are nutritious,” said Dr. Allen. Then, the idea was presented to Dr. Virginia Parrish.

After Dr. Parrish agreed to the idea, Dr. Allen and Parrish put the plan into motion.  The fundraiser became known as the “Great EHL Cookie Challenge” and was held the past spring during the Girl Scout Cookie Campaign.

According to Dr. Allen, the English, Humanities and Languages Department collected the money from faculty and staff to help with the fundraiser. The Dosido’s were purchased by EHL through the Girl Scout Brownie Troop 312 who collected the money for case six. Troop 312’s team leader was Candice Dunn who helped raise the money for the sixth case around the Durant area.

The Choctaw Nation agreed to pay for the cookies being shipped overseas so that all the donations could go to buying cookies. Thanks to them, the donations raised helped the troops receive six cases of Dosido’s cookies, which are peanut butter sandwich cookies.

The cookies shipped to Afghanistan were received and distributed by Staff Sergeant Chad Young. Young’s wife Whitney said, “He’s going to take pictures of the soldiers with the boxes and send them to me…they love Girl Scout Cookies.”

 

Capt. George T. Caves, 1st Lt. Ryan C. Rosenthal, Sgt. 1st Class Lonnie S. Dills, Staff Sgt. Chad E. Young pose with the cookies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ASSE honors SE’s Dr. Jones with Presidential Award 2011

by Lornna Bates

Managing Editor

 

     Dr. Wayne Jones, chair of the department of occupational safety and health of Southeastern was presented with the President’s Award amidst the Safety 2011 Professional Development Conference and Exposition held in Chicago by the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).  

     The ASSE President’s Award is the highest presidential honor given to a member of the society. Jones’s honor is perhaps made all the more special considering that ASSE is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2011, a century of educating and practicing safety accomplishments.

     Jones said the acknowledgement was most unexpected. Although ASSE’s Board of Delegates did contact Jones with the information previous to the Chicago conference, it was only with the intention of ensuring Jones would be present at the delegation meeting held the Sunday prior to the conference to receive the award.

     It was a good thing the board called to verify his arrival, said Jones, as his scheduled flight was departing within a couple hours of the opening of the meeting. “I probably will not make it,” Jones kidded to the board, as his plane did not even depart till Sunday morning within hours of the meeting, “and even then, Chicago is not exactly a small city,” continued Jones.

     Jones changed his flight plans and accepted his award.

     Jones typically has a jovial and playful demeanor and has been known to whistle his way across campus, stopping often to converse with faculty, staff and/or student.

     Since 2001, Jones has been the chair of the occupational safety and health program of Southeastern. He has been a full-time member of the faculty since 1997.

     Throughout his employment with Southeastern, Jones has also been the recipient of other awards given both by Southeastern and ASSE, including the Dr. William E. Tarrants Outstanding Safety Educator Award of 2009, the most distinguished honor for an educator in the field of safety and health to receive from ASSE.

     “I love what I do,” said Jones. “And, I love the kids.”

     And then in true Jones fashion, he added, “Although there are times I wonder about them.”

 

 

Dr. Wayne Jones stands prominently in front of the SE safety program's confined space training module.

 

 

The 2011 ASSE Presidential Award presented to Dr. Jones during the milestone 100th Anniversary of ASSE.