Dec 31, 2021

Looking Back at 2021

Over the last decade I have also been doing a kind of year-in-review report here on the website to take stock of the year that has just passed (here's 20122013201420152016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020). I debated whether I needed to put up such a report for 2021, since there was so little to actually note, but tradition won out. This was the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic affecting everything. It was a little more "normal" (whatever that is...), but not so normal that theatres fully opened and festivals become operational again. So, with a sigh, here’s the sparse artistic (and otherwise) happenings that occurred for me in 2021...

The first thing I did in 2021 was direct some PSAs for the college I work at. They were over things like Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement, Using Old Work for Assignments and so on.

You can see one... HERE. and another... HERE. I wrote and directed (and in a pinch, ended up performing in ) these short videos. Everything was done remotely and then cobbled together. It was a horribly frustrating process on the technical end of things, but the students were troopers.

My favorite one was a riff on Seinfeld that I did with a fellow teacher. I'll put it here (starts at 30:45 on the video below)...

The PSAs were followed up with directing a "digital theatre" project, also for the college I work at. It was for a student-written one-act play festival. All the pieces were again done remotely and cobbled together. Again, I fought the technology the whole way. I worked closely with the student playwright to get the piece in shape for the nature of the project since we we're doing it digitally. We tried hard to record it live with the actors interacting on a Zoom-like program, but it proved rather difficult. The result was... okay. 

Besides these directing projects, I didn't really work much the first few months of the year. There were no classes to teach at my college. As an adjunct, I am somewhat down the list when classes are offered. 

I did get in a few camping and bikepacking trips in throughout the spring, so that was nice. I even hit Dinosaur Valley State Park with the family (and dog). 

My tarp set-up at Dinosaur Valley State Park

The summer held very little activity beyond yardwork and laying low. In May, I did manage to format my solo show Chop into an ebook and self-published it on Amazon. I am not counting on it to sell a million copies, but I am actively trying to archive my work in  away that it is out in the world. 

As the autumn started up, I did make a robot costume out of cardboard for my kiddo. He wore it for Halloween and had a blast trick-or-treating.

The chest plate opened to reveal a heart inside.

I taught at a high school in the fall and found it not great. Back in 1999-2001 I was a teacher at a public high school and I always dislike going back. And that was way before cell phones were a thing. Unfortunately, since the pandemic, the college I teach at is experiencing very low attendance. None of my classes made. I ended up doing an ECHS (Early College High School) class at the actual high school. Working for a college where you never actually go to the college campus itself is weird. It feels like full-time temp work.

I was interviewed for the Give Me Twenty Podcast by my friend Holly Bagwell. The interview ended up being rather extensive and, though I come off really long-winded, it really succeeded in laying out who I am and what I do. You can listen to it... HERE.

In November, right before Thanksgiving, my folks treated both my family and my sister's family to a big vacation trip to Disney World in Florida. My wife, kiddo and I drove out and the week long trip proved to be a wonderful discursion.

Just before the New Year, I finished the only "big" project I did the whole year, an original picture book for my kiddo. I wrote and then drew it. I called it Petey Gale Goes Up and Beyond. Besides getting a special version made up for my son, I made the paperback version available on

I did manage to turn out a few Cultivated Playwright podcast episodes and made a few YouTube videos on my YouTube channel, but no big theatre endeavors. Hopefully 2022 will hold more of the old school magic.

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