San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

November 29th, 2010
Longtime theatre professor Charles Pascoe dies

SUBMITTED REPORTS

The Texas State University community is mourning the loss of Charles Pascoe, a professor in the department of theatre and dance, who died Nov. 23.

COURTESY PHOTO

Pascoe was a professor of child drama and director of children’s theatre at Texas State, where he had been employed since 1981. As the director of children’s theatre, for 25 years, he conducted a children’s theatre tour each spring semester, bringing live theatre to elementary school children in central Texas. Each tour also included a week-long run on campus for university and town audiences. On each tour his plays played to as many as 13,000 people, mostly children.

Pascoe wrote and directed musical dramas designed to entertain children and adults and stimulate them emotionally and intellectually. His unique, original musical children’s dramas have captured the imagination, humor, understanding, and appreciation of audiences of all ages. Pascoe’s plays include: Candlestein, Foxtales, Cave Song, Backyard Story, Gecko 43, The Next Amendment, Slavemaker, Rodeo Mongolia, Oracle of the Balcones, A Gathering of Spirits, Emperor Toad, and Kingfishers 3 and Blue.

Pascoe served as a member of the faculty senate at Texas State and, in 2000, led the university’s successful effort to earn accreditation reaffirmation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. He was born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada. In 1964 he earned a bachelor of science in education with a major in speech pathology at the University of North Dakota and in 1967, a master of science at Colorado State University. After graduation and until 1976, he worked as a speech pathologist in southeastern Minnesota, both with elementary school children in the public school and as an instructor at a local, four-year, private college where, after several years, he created a speech pathology program.

Since a department of speech pathology did not yet exist at the college, his initial assignment was to the drama department. It was there that his interest turned to theatre, especially playwriting for children. After two successful summers touring Foxtales and Emperor Toad in southeastern Minnesota, he entered a doctoral program at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, where, in 1981, he earned a Ph.D. in theatre with a dual emphasis in playwriting and child drama.

A large part of his teaching load at Texas State consisted of conducting courses in creative drama. His students in these courses were primarily elementary education, theatre, and recreation majors. In his classes his students learned to appreciate creative drama as an art form and as a very powerful teaching tool. They learned to employ creative drama methods to teach across the elementary school curriculum, teaching traditional subjects in a wonderful, non-traditional ways.

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