When one thinks of a college and the typical activities associated with it, a few specific things immediately spring to mind: textbooks, lectures, research papers, and lab sessions, to name a few. However, to some people, college represents a time when the fine arts take center stage in their lives.

Texas Southmost College adjunct instructor Elizabeth Ordeman is one of those people, and she generously lends the benefit of her years of experience in the performing arts to those students who choose to participate in her array of drama courses offered here at Texas Southmost College.

“I’ve been involved in theater for much of my life,” said Ordeman. “My family grew up outside of New York City, so we would go to Broadway often, so I became thoroughly interested in the theater.”

Ordeman’s Acting I class teaches students the basics of stage performance, familiarizing them with theater terminology and jargon. It is a safe place where students are placed in the spotlight and encouraged to embrace their performative and expressive sides. Students also form pairs to engage in duet performances, creating a chance to collaborate while preparing for a complete stage presentation.

Ordeman said the skills her students learn while enrolled in the drama courses offered at Texas Southmost College function on a fundamental level, imparting them specific universal skills that they can build upon as they navigate their way through more academically intensive classes.

Of course, for a theater to thrive, it needs access to as much raw talent as possible, and Ordeman is determined to raise more awareness of her classes and all they have to offer to recruit that talent.

“I would like to see a strong and significant theater department built up because people would enjoy that form of art and expression, and we would be able to see some great performers in the future,” said Ordeman.

“I tell students, ‘If you’re on the fence about it, you should just try it out.’ I have people this semester that have never been on the stage before, and I have people who have, so that mixture allows us to play a lot,” said Ordeman. “It’s a course to play in.”

Texas Southmost College student Jade Harper is a student who had no reservations about enrolling in the class.

“I’ve met so many wonderful friends here that I’ve never had in my previous courses, and I’ve just had a blast performing,” said Harper.

Harper’s acting partner, Samantha Garcia, agreed. “Our teacher is good at directing and helping us,” Garcia said. “Her guidance and direction give me the confidence to perform in front of everybody with no qualms.”

Ordeman said she hopes students enroll in these courses with the intent of having fun but also because it builds confidence and will be beneficial in their future endeavors.

“I teach projection so that they can speak out loud and enunciate their words, but it also teached confidence when speaking in front of others” Ordeman said. “It is a skill that may be helpful for any job they may have in the future.”

Drama classes that are tentatively scheduled to be offered for the Spring 2024 semester are DRAM-1351 (Acting I), DRAM-1352 (Acting II) and DRAM-1310 (Theater Appreciation).

For more information on these courses, please contact Amanda Utzman at [email protected] or (956) 295-3475.

Texas Southmost College Dram Classes 2023