Behind the Scenes at the Emelin Theatre

March, 2005

Peter Drexel’s motto is “Practice What You Teach.” Last summer and fall at the Emelin Theatre in Mamaroneck, N.Y., Drexel spent his sabbatical living that motto.

Drexel, a professor in the department of computer science and technology, combined his love of music and theater with his expertise in systems analysis to help the theater’s staff better manage information about donors and contributors. Beginning in July, Drexel spent several months helping the theater’s development director, Elvira Freyer (a longtime friend), choose a software program to organize data from over 1,000 donors. After evaluating about 50 software programs, Drexel installed DonorQuest. The program proved a good match for the mid-sized theater’s development needs, he explains.

Drexel also got a glimpse of the theater’s inner workings, attending rehearsals and wine-tasting events, and getting autographs from some of the performers.

Drexel’s work at the Emelin gave him a valuable experience to bring back to his students at Plymouth. The professor says he believes it is very important for higher educators to continue to challenge themselves in their fields as they teach. Drexel reinforces the importance of practical experience in his own classes.

Drexel called his time at the Emelin refreshing. “The synergy of arts and technology made for a really wonderful experience,” he says. “It was a completely new experience … that’s one of the reasons I did this.”— Kristin Proulx Jarvis

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