Saturday, May 28, 2011
I was looking at the Obits in the USU Alumni magazine, and noticed Nels Carlson had passed away. Nels was Mr. Theater at the USU extension in the Uintah Basin. He knew everything about theater, from the technical aspect, to the acting to the producing. http://obitsutah.com/show_obit.php?id=3845 http://www.ubstandard.com/stories/Carlson-remembered-for-service-to-others,8658
I first met Nels when I was in the USU production of "Man of la Mancha." Nels, in addition to being the producer, portrayed the captain of the guard. He was always such a professional. He introduced the idea of staying in character and saying "line" when you need your line. That was a good method to memorize the lines, but also to build the character of your role.
I did several more productions with Nels. He was the director of the "Star of Justice" for the first years of the Outlaw Trail Festival. He took a script that had never been produced before, and turned it into a show. He also designed and put together the stage and scenery. I still have a picture of the scene as he designed it, which hangs in me bedroom.
I helped Nels with building set. I was the person that didn't know what he was doing, that Nels would show how to do a few things. My worse experience with Nels was when I was taking down lights, and dropped one from the apple picker. It broke the lens, but Nels didn't yell at me. I did enough yelling at myself.
He shared with me a movie script he had written. It was written in the movie kind of a way and told the story of a man with cancer, who is "kidnapped" by his friend, a Native American to go see the grandfather, medicine man who could cure him. It had the traditional chase scenes and everything, and finally getting to where they needed to be.
On one occasion we had a church social, and Nels came and did a one-man show. Nels sang "Paper Dream" from "Saturday's Warrior." This was one of his favorite songs. He also did a scene from Shakespeare, I think "Macbeth" of a crazy door keeper. I can still hear him, "Knock, knock, knock."