Hopkinton POS

HCA Spotlight Series Instructor

 HCA Spotlight
 Learn more about the people who call the HCA 'home'.

Doris Early, ceramics student and her granson Colin, art/music student

What attracted you to classes at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts? 
Doris: I was always intrigued by ceramics and wanted to learn how to throw but never  had an opportunity to take a class until I moved to Hopkinton in 2018. I saw an HCA brochure for fall classes and it included ceramics. I signed up immediately!
Colin: When I was 5 or 6 I took an art class for summer camp at the arts center. I also took guitar lessons for a whle. My grandmother asked me if I wanted to take cartooning as a birthday present and I said yes!

Have y ou seen yourself grow as an artist since starting classes? 
Doris: We don't really see ourselves as artists yet, but we both enjoy the process.

What value do you think the HCA brings to the region?
Doris: I think the HCA provides a wonderful opportunity for people from the MetroWest region to experience a variety of classes and programs that otherwise would be unavailable to them.
Colin: I think it's only the cartooning class around! It's great to have class with other kids who like the same thing I do.

What does it mean to you that you both get to study in the same place?
Doris: I'm very happy that Colin is able to express himself through art and has enjoyed it so much. He looks forward to the class every week. I can totally relate to that excitement.

What can you tell us about your classes?
Doris: I have met so many great people through my ceramics classes. My instructor, Hana Reilly, is a wonderful teacher; patient, fun, and talented. The other students are always willing to encourage, sympathize, and share ideas. We become a close knit group each session. Ceramics looks easy, but it isn't and it's wonderful to have so much support. 
Colin: My favorite part of Cartooning class is when everyone shares their work. It's cool seeing what everyone made.

How was the tranisition to online learning?
Doris: I had 3 sessions left last March when we had to go to a virtual class due to the shutdown. We did handbuilding as we didn't have access to the pottery wheels. I found I prefer the wheel so I waited (impatiently) until the studio was open again. (HCA ceramics classes are currently limited to 4 students and 1 instructor).
Colin: I took Cartooning class virtually. I liked it. The teacher was great and made sure there were things I was interested in during classes.

What surprises you most about the Hopkinton Center for the Arts?
Doris: I'm always surprised by the wide variety of classes and programs that are offered at the arts center. The opportunity to learn from truly talented people should not be underestimated!


Paul Champlin, ESL Board of Directors & Founder

As a kid I was a prolific writer of songs, poems, and creator of concepts for movies, plays/musicals and stage shows. I watched and imitated dramatic scenes from great films and learned songs and dances from stage and screen musicals.

In the late 70's the idea of Enter Stage Left Theater came into being. I began producing acts, some of which included original rock and jazz or Broadway style music for talent shows. In high school it evolved from a club of talented schoomates sypathetic to the concept, to the realization of actually providing staged material and some demo recordings. An original semi-improvisational comedy/farce called "Customer Service" gave way to a two-act comedy, "Antics" featuring the same characters and mounted as a fundraiser for the public library. 

Our first full-scale musical production was a 1983 shoe-string production of "Godspell," funded by the Arts Lottery Council and an original musical followed in 1984. We remained active into the late 80s until life events seperated our core contingent. As the original group began to return to the area  we decided to formally incorporate in 1997 and began producing a number of plays, musicals, and cabarets. 

Beginning in 2014, we began our association with what would become the Hopkinton Center for the Arts, but was then called the Cultural Arts Alliance (CAA). We produced three productions in the early 2000's, with proceeds benefitting the Terry Barn and art exhibition space at 98 Hayden Rowe St.

In 2006, we opened the Enter Stage Left Theater Studio and performance venue on Main Street in Hopkinton and in 2010 we once again joined forces with the CAA in a cooperative effort to collobarate towards our common goals.

In November of 2015, I had the honor of directing the first production in the newly constructed Hopkinton Center for the Arts Delbridge Family Performance Space, a production of "Our Town" honoring Hopkinton's Centennial.

The HCA and Enter Stage Left Theater have officially merged this year. Now that ESL has a permanent home at the HCA what exciting opportunities will this bring to HCA's theater family and programming?

With our combined, concentrated and streamlined resources, we hope to have the capability of maximizing our exposure and service to our community. We hope to partner with community agencies where appropriate, not only to entertain, but to enlighten and serve.

You have generously offered an annual scholarship in your name beginning this year for any graduating senior pursuing theater as a college major. What inspired you to make that wonderful gesture?

Our first show as produced in 1982 and we had articulated our desire that the proceeds be allocated toward scholarships. So from very early on, we demonstrated a commitment to assisting those furthering their education. It's a tradition we have tried to continue when resources have permitted. 

Why do you think the ability to create art (in all its forms) is particularly important during these unprecedented times?

The pandemic and accompanying isolation, race equality, and the divisive political climate emphasize our human need to think, feel and express, and to bring people together in creative ways and toward greater understanding. We are faced with many obstacles in producing theater in our current condition, but these obstacles produce the synergy for innovation. Until we can enjy the communal experience that truly live theater brings once more.

Pictured: Enter Stage left Theater founder Paul Champlin presents Hopkinton High School graduate Rebecca Gallant with the ESL Theater Scholarship for $500. Rebecca is attending Bridgewater State University as a freshman pursuing theater education and  secondary education.   



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