100 Creatives: Paul Hope
What he does: Paul Hope is a prolific actor, director and educator who's been in the Houston arts and theater scene virtually his whole life. As a teenager, he was accepted to both the dance and the theater departments at the then-new High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. He opted for the theater program, but wasn't satisfied with just performing in high school productions: "I didn't want to just work two weekends, and that was it," he says.
By the end of high school, he was performing in community productions, and went on to become one of the most entrenched actors around town, spending 15 seasons as an Alley resident artist and performing in more than 40 productions for Theatre Under The Stars. He's also appeared on the stages of Main Street Theater, Stages Repertory Theatre, Houston Ballet and the Houston Shakespeare Festival.
As a director, Hope has directed several productions at University of Houston, and he stays busy teaching theater at several area colleges and universities, including Houston Community College and Rice University. Hope is also the founder and artistic director of Bayou City Concert Musicals, where he is in the middle of directing his eleventh production.
Why he likes it: "You're not doing the same thing every single day," Hope says.
As a director, "You have to develop a whole other set of nerves." Once the curtain rises, "you can't go up to the actors and correct them. You can only sit there and hope you've rehearsed them enough."
His work as a director and educator gives him the chance to study theater history, something he's been interested in since he was a kid listening to the cast albums of Stephen Sondheim's Company and A Little Night Music. "That was really what got my trivia mind started, where I started connecting who was in which show, and what they went on to do," he says.
Bayou City Concert Musicals allows him to share that love for theater history with the larger populace. For the company's 2006 production of Fiorello! a successful but rarely produced work, "people were coming out of the woodwork," he says. Since then, Hope has sought to produce unforgotten but largely unproduced musicals of the 1940s and '50s, including Pal Joey, On the Town and, this season, Finian's Rainbow.
Michelle Robinson Courtesy of Houston Shakespeare Festival Paul Hope, Left, and Tracie Thomason in The Taming of the Shrew at Houston Shakespeare Festival earlier this year
If not here, then where? Hope has come close to leaving Houston for greater theater capitals such as New York -- so close, once, that he even had a going-away party.
"Houston is home," he says. "I don't have a lot of family here anymore, but I have a lot of chosen family here. I'd have to think long and hard about leaving."
What's next? Hope continues teaching classes as an adjunct faculty member at UH, Houston Community College and Rice University. He's directing Zombie Prom at UH later this year and is preparing for Bayou City Concert Musicals' production of Finian's Rainbow, which runs in September.
(In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).
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Van G. Garrett, poet
Dominic Walsh, dancer and choreographer
Ibis Fernandez, animator
Alex "PR!MO" Luster, filmmaker
Chris Nguyen, designer
Sophia Vassilakidis, animator
Sandra Lord, tour guide
Scarlett St. Vitus, model
Wayne Stevens, actor
Bill Davenport, sculpture and found art
Julie Zarate, painter
Margo Toombs, actor and writer
Shelby Hohl, graphic designer
Timothy Dorsey, writer and illustrator
Lucas Gorham, musician
Tracy Manford Carlson, photographer
Lauren Rottet, architect and designer
John Robertson, visual artist
John Adelman, visual artist
Chandos Dodson, interior designer
Cliff Franks, painter
Kim Hartz, photographer
Katy Heinlein, visual artist
Robert Shimko, dramaturg
Galina Kurlat, photographer
Wayne Slaten, filmmaker
Jane Weiner, dancer and choreographer
El Franco Lee II, visual artist
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Jason Ransom, visual artist
Mr. SINched, fashion desiger
"Uncle" Charlie Hardwick, poster designer
Avital Stolar, playwright and educator
Katherine Houston, visual artist
Christopher Olivier, visual artist
Dennis Lee Harper, sculptor
David A. Brown, photographer
Rachel Harmeyer, visual artist
Kia Neill, installation artist
Stacy Davidson, filmmaker
Jennifer Wood, choreographer
Kevin DeVil, filmmaker
Kerry Beyer, photographer and filmmaker
Robert Ellis, musician
Davie Graves, musician and visual artist
Robert Hodge, multimedia
Mary Magsamen, photo and video artist
John Harvey, theater
Bret Harmeyer, visual artist
Joel Orr, puppet master
Rodney Waters, photographer and pianist
Jeremy Choate, lighting designer
Chuck Ivy, visual artist
Tra'Slaughter, visual artist
Jen Chen - visual art, designer
Howard Sherman - Painter
Nancy Hendrick - Founder of Dance Salad
Misha Penton - Opera Singer and Theater Artist
Ben Tecumseh DeSoto - Photojournalist
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Tierney Malone - Creative Type
Dolan Smith - Painter
Jenny Schlief - Mixed-Media Artist
David Eagleman - Writer
Anna Sprage - Painter
Philip Lehl - Actor
Andy Noble - Choreographer
David McGee - Painter
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