Curtain Call: Corey Ewan to Retire After 25 Years at USU Eastern

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USU Eastern Press Release

PRICE, Utah — After years of entertaining audiences and instructing theater students, USU associate professor Corey Ewan has announced his retirement. In the weeks after completing the Feb. 29-March 7 Geary Event Center run of Something Rotten, Ewan will step down from his position.

Ewan began his university education at the College of Eastern Utah, earning his associate degree before transitioning to USU in Logan. After graduating with a doctorate from BYU, Ewan came back to join the USU Eastern faculty in 1999. During his early years, he worked with several of the professors that taught him when he was an undergraduate student. He enjoyed these times even though they were fraught with extra hours building sets and creating costumes.

“I owe so much to the education that I got here, and seeing those professors again, they were so welcoming and proud,” Ewan said. “We would build sets and create costumes. The costume department used to be in the basement. We had a lot of responsibilities, and we were trusted to get things done. It was a fun time.”

By his own recollection, Ewan has directed 70 performances at USU Eastern in his 25 years in the department. He started directing two shows a year at the beginning, splitting time with another director. After that professor retired, Ewan continued to put on the four shows, this time taking charge of all four productions in a year.

“You finish a show and then two weeks later, you start the next one,” he said. “It can be tough. But you have to think of it as play; it is never work.”

Ewan takes pride in having built the program that has grown in esteem across the state and the country. As his students leave to continue their education or begin in the industry, Ewan says he constantly hears from other administrators on just how amazed they are with the acting of the students who come from the program.

Many of his students are also invited back to be a part of his shows. Ewan utilizes all the local talent he can find to put on shows, bringing in actors to play older parts or younger parts. Having the community be a part of the theater program was a big priority for him and something he hopes continues long after he leaves.

“Our auditions are open,” he said. “Anybody on campus or in the community is welcome to come audition. The community people that I’ve used have provided some incredible acting on stage. All 70 productions, our actors have met the challenge and have exceeded my expectations. And I love that.”

Ewan is proud of how the program has grown and from the growth he sees in his students each year. He comes to view the students as family and says they keep him young.

“I’m 64 but — in my mind — I’m no older than 25,” Ewan said. “They keep me alive and hopping. We have created and maintained a family atmosphere here. The students are the reason I’ve stayed here so long. When you get to know them, I start to think of them as my children. Some of them have said that when they came here, they had one father, and when they left they have three. That means a lot.”

When asked what he hopes his legacy will be, Ewan only hopes he’s remembered as one thing: fun. Because he believes theater should never feel like work — it should be a joy.

“I hope people remember that I was fun, and that they learned something within the fun,” he said. “Education doesn’t have to be dull or boring. You can find things about education that are fascinating. I don’t want to be remembered as brilliant or talented. I want people to say, ‘Gosh, he was a fun professor.’”

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