The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

February 21, 2014

After 44 years at Sam Houston, it’s time for this teacher and dynamo of the theater to take a bow

McIntyre has two more valentines to give to SHSU and the entire Huntsville community: today’s plays

HUNTSVILLE — Sam Houston State theater professor Maureen McIntyre will be directing her final production at the university today after a long and accomplished career filled with awards and many memories.

McIntyre has worked at Sam Houston since 1970 and her final production, “Much Ado About Nothing,” will mark her 84th at the school.

She never envisioned being at SHSU for 44 years, but has enjoyed every second of her time here in Huntsville.

“I came for one year to fill in for a position a previous professor had left and here I am today,” she said this week. “I have had a wonderful and joyous career here. I have just loved all my students and watching them grow into professional actors, as well as the community of Huntsville.”

With so many years of experience and productions to her name, McIntyre has had too many great memories to choose a favorite.

“There has been so many favorite memories. Every time a student has had a breakthrough it has really made me proud,” she said.

“Whenever I’ve had a student come to me and say to me, ‘I have discovered that I am an artist,’ it just really makes me feel like what I am doing is worthwhile.”

Her presence in the community has been just as noteworthy as her work at the university, as she was also the director of the Huntsville Children’s Summer Theatre Festival from 1980 to 2004.

McIntyre has collected many accolades over the years, including Texas Educational Theatre Association Educator of the Year in 1993, being nominated for the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in 2000 and the mayor of Huntsville declaring June 6, 2000 as Maureen McIntyre Day for all of her service in the community.

Being able to train and affect the lives of so many students is what really gives McIntyre a sense of achievement, however.

“I love watching my students make discoveries about themselves and seeing their many accomplishments on stage. I have gotten to see a lot of their productions abroad, including Broadway, and it is such a great feeling to know they are pursuing their passion and succeeding,” she said.

“It is very kind of them to give me awards, but the students and their successes are the awards to me.”

Today will be an emotional day for McIntyre, saying she thinks it will be similar to Jay Leno’s final night on the “Tonight Show”.

“I’ll be as bad as Jay Leno,” she joked. “It is my choice (to retire), but it will still be very emotional. My door will always be open to my students, though.”

She said that she will miss the intensity of producing a theatrical play and all of the creativity that is involved in the process the most.

“I will miss the intensity of the artistic experience and the excitement of bringing synthesis to a production, as well as the time I get to spend with my students,” she said.

Her final production is meant to be a love letter to the school and the city of Huntsville, thanking both for all the wonderful memories and support they have provided her.

“I designed the concept for the show as a Valentine to the city of Huntsville, to thank the audience for all of their kindness over the years,” she said.

Two performances of “Much Ado About Nothing” are scheduled today. There will be a matinee show at 2 p.m. and an evening performance at 8 in the University Theatre Center’s Erica Starr Theater.

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