We had the good fortune of connecting with Brad Nies and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brad, what are you inspired by?
Ever since high school, I have been inspired by teachers, instructors, and professors. While attending Sanford-Fritch High School in Fritch, Texas, I had an incredible theatre instructor, Lydia Fowlkes, who saw the potential in me when I first attended her speech class. Because of her, I graduated and attended Amarillo College in Amarillo, Texas. There, I had incredible instructors, but I was truly taken under the wing of the theatre arts director, Terry Lewis, who taught me how to direct, as well as run a theatre arts program. After graduating from Amarillo College, I attended West Texas State University in Canyon, Texas. I had even better experiences with my professors there, but I was encouraged to continue my studies in Communication with a Theatre Emphasis by the school’s theatre arts director, Royal R. Brantley. Without these three people, I would never have been able to do what I do today.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Since graduating from West Texas A&M University in 1990 with an M.A. Degree in Communications (Theatre Emphasis), I have been employed with Blinn College as Director and Professor of Theatre Arts/ Communication Studies for the Brenham Campus. While at Blinn, I have directed over 250 theatrical productions, as well as completed postgraduate studies in communications, directing, script analysis, and playwriting. Since 2010, I have been living out my dream of being a published playwright.
As a director, I have given back what was given to me as a student: A love for the theatre arts. As such, our program has grown in participants, and I am proud to say it has been compared to that of a small university theatre arts program.
My core values as a playwright include telling a worthwhile story that educates and enlightens audiences. I also feel that my work as a director has helped me to create strong action statements, good dramatic structure, and characters with clear and present inner and outer needs. I believe that research is an important part of my writing, as it helps to provide validity to the stories I tell.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As we live just outside of Houston, I would make sure we hit the following:
*Monday: The Montrose; the most fun neighborhood in Houston, Texas! While there, we would go to the Menil Collection and the Rothko Chapel on the campus of St. Thomas University. We would also hit the Art League-Houston, the Crystal and Dawn Owens Garden, and get coffee at Inversion Coffee House. We’d have lunch at The Burger Joint and dinner at Katz’s Deli.
*Tuesday: The Theatre District, as Houston is home to the second largest theatre district in the United States! We’d see shows at the Alley Theatre, the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, and the Wortham Theatre. If we had time, we’d see a movie at the AMC Houston 8 Movie Theater and see what band is playing at the Bayou Music Center. We’d have lunch at Frank’s Pizza and dinner at the Hard Rock Café.
*Wednesday: Downtown Houston. No trip to Houston is complete without seeing the Astros play at Minute Maid Park. While there, we’d see what’s going on at the George R. Brown Convention Center and stroll through Discovery Green. We’d get coffee at Starbuck’s, lunch at the ballgame, and dinner at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen.
*Thursday: River Oaks. We’d walk through Memorial Park and drive by the beautiful homes near the River Oaks Country Club. We’d have lunch at The House of Pies and dinner at Chuy’s.
*Friday: Uptown. Spend the day shopping at the Galleria and swing by the Bedrock City Comic Company. We’d have lunch at the Chipotle Mexican Grill, and we’d have dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to the faculty, staff, administration, and students of Blinn College. Each of them have been a family member to me!
The second pic is Blinn College-Brenham Theatre Arts Program’s production of “The Addams Family” produced in the fall of 2019. Directed by Brad Nies, Set Design by Kevin Patrick, and Costumes, Makeup, and Hair Design by Jennifer Patrick.