2020: Going the Distance

Summer Break Theatre thanks to ALL the supporters for coming out to our show this year on July 26 at the Blue Starlite Drive-In, and seeing it online. 

After a successful, sold-out performance of Cul-de-Sac at Hyde Park Theatre in 2019, SBT presented a second successful show of Going the Distance, our online comedy play about the life of teachers facing the challenges of distance teaching, at the Blue Starlite Mini-Urban Drive-In Movie Theatre. We had a YouTube the following night on July 27.

The link is below:

Join us next year, and stay tuned for other events on our website!



The Buckey Beaver teachers are PISSED. Remote learning continues through the fall, but preparations are in the works for in-person classes to resume soon. Between the only decent teacher quitting to the perky antics of the AP, watching these staff meetings unfold is like… well…2020. Join us for this “bought-in, student-centered, growth-mindset” group of 8th grade teachers as they go from “remote to restart” by planning for… what? Oh yeah. TOTALLY unpaid personal development. 

Buck E. Middle is the first travel-center sponsored middle school in Central Texas. (The first location is in Plano). Corporate sponsorship affords our American Beavers conveniences other campuses lack, including a nut bar in the cafeteria and the cleanest bathrooms in tri-county area. Buck E. Middle’s main rival is the Waxahachie Truck Stop Middle School. (Boo Road Kills!) Go Buck E. Middle! We have clean bathrooms!


Anna Barkin (Theatre Teacher): Anna is a core member of Summer Break Theatre. She has her BFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Florida and earned her Master of Education from Texas A&M.  She is a middle school theatre teacher in Hutto.  Prior to that, Anna lived in Los Angeles where she was a founding member of the award-winning sketch group Oh You and Your Bone Spurs, a frequent participant in Comedy Central’s storytelling night Sit and Spin, and happened to film a TV pilot, a couple of indie movies and a studio picture.  She lives in Austin with her husband and two sons and is beyond excited to work with Summer Break Theatre!

David Crutcher (Therapist): David Crutcher teaches theatre at Trimble Technical High School in Fort Worth and has taught at the middle, high school, and college levels for twenty years. His students have performed at the Texas State Thespian Festival, the International Thespian Festival, and the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. He has BA in Theatre from the University of North Texas, an MA in Theatre Production from Central Washington University, and an MFA in Directing from the University of Idaho.

Jon DeMitchell (New ELA teacher): Jon DeMitchell is a core member of Summer Break Theatre so excited to be part of this awesome show. Jon is the theatre director at East View High School in Georgetown. Prior to that, he was an actor of stage and screen in Los Angeles. He is also a graduate of Chapman University’s BFA in Theatre Performance program.

Rene Fulton (Asst. Principal): Rene has a B.A. in Theatre from the City University of New York, Hunter College.  She is currently the Theatre Arts director at Hutto High School in Hutto,Tx. Rene has worked as an actor in LA, New York and across the country.  Rene’s recent Austin credits include Olivia in Twelfth Night, Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Princess in Love’s Labor’s Lost, Calpurnia in Julius Caesar for Present Theatre Company and Adrianna in Comedy of Errors for Penfold Theatre Company. Rene is excited to return for her second production with Summer Break Theatre.

David Lampe (Social Studies teacher): David Lampe has been a high school English teacher for over 25 years. He has been performing in theater and improv troupes even longer and he is delighted to be joining Summer Break for their second season.

Matt Ludlam (Science teacher): has been teaching theatre in classrooms for the last 17 years. He is also the founder of Ludlam Dramatics, a company that publishes educational theatre resources.

Maggie Bell (ELA teacher/Team Lead): Maggie is the founder of Summer Break Theatre. She currently serves as the theatre director for Cedar Valley Middle School. Maggie is also a member of the pilot program RRISD Fine Arts LEAD Co-hort, and she advises academic UIL. Prior to teaching, Maggie toured as a stage manager and worked with Austin Lyric Opera and the Long Center.

Creative Team

Maggie Bell (Producer): Maggie is the founder of Summer Break Theatre. She currently serves as the theatre director for Cedar Valley Middle School. Maggie is also a member of the pilot program RRISD Fine Arts LEAD Co-hort, and she advises academic UIL. Prior to teaching, Maggie toured as a stage manager and worked with Austin Lyric Opera and the Long Center.

Ria Ferich (Character Development): Ria Ferich is a writer living in Austin and has worked in education for over 10 years. She enjoys travel but for now is settling for changing her virtual background every few hours and going to the international grocery store during off-peak hours.

Elizabeth Hauser (Media/Graphic Design): Elizabeth Hauser is a creative genius and loves to use her talents to help people. In 2018 she started her own business, Chirpy Graphics & Photography as a way to share her creativity with others and help them to be confident and successful in their endeavors. She enjoys photography, video editing, ballroom dancing with her husband and following her creative imagination on whatever project comes up next. She believes everyone is unique and has something special to share with the world. To talk with Elizabeth about a project you want to collaborate on, visit www.chirpygraphics.com.

The Creative Team includes Estevan J. (Chuy) Zarate (Consultant), Ria Ferich and Courtney Wilson (Character Development), Maggie Bell (Producer), Ken Webster (Consultant), and Morganne Davies (Consultant).

Summer Break Theatre mission: To produce work by all teachers (not just Theatre teachers) as a creative outlet. Our work is not political in scope, but aims to be relevant and centered on strong, character driven material that reflects on or provokes the world we reside in at this time. Throughout the year, our goal is to also maintain a presence through supportive resources and outlets for teachers; including workshops, events, fundraisers, and more.

2019: Cul de Sac

THE STORY: On a lovely spring evening, all is not quite what it seems for three couples living on the same suburban cul-de-sac. Couple #1 never had children and realize that they might not be all they hoped they’d be. Couple #2 have kids—but they aren’t quite what they hoped they’d be, either. Couple #3 seem to be all that Couples #1 and 2 ever wanted to be: They have two wonderful kids, shiny new cars, and their grass is very green. But life is far from perfect for Couple #3. This is a shocking comedy that explores the extreme measures people take to achieve their dreams—or find happiness—or find their way to what they once were.

Cul-de-Sac featured Stacy Meisetschlaeger, Maggie Bell, Jon DeMitchell, Yaakov Abrams, Aaron Black, and Rene Fulton.

Summer Break Theatre talks shop.

Cul-de-Sac by John Cariani opened at Hyde Park Theatre July 21-23, 2019. Dark comedy. Daring material. Our students would be proud. 🙂

Posted by Summer Break Theatre on Tuesday, July 9, 2019