GCC teacher Kirt Shineman’s double life; teacher by day, playwright by night

by Caelyn Buller
Kirt Shineman has not only been a teacher here at GCC for over 18 years, he is also an award winningplaywright and a treasure to the GCC community. Shineman is currently a well-known communicationsteacher at GCC and is appreciated by students, past and present.
“He tries to make class fun and interesting even though our class begins at 830 in the morning. Heengages us when we normally would want to be sleeping,” Jokes Bryanna Morton-West, a freshmanwho is currently enrolled in Shineman’s com 110 course.
While Shineman has been a teacher at GCC for majority of his teaching career he does appreciatecommunity college students (Like Bryanna) because he believes these students crave knowledge moreso then the students at Universities.
“I keep playwriting and teaching balanced, otherwise I would go crazy. They feed each other-Communication is necessary in every play,” Shineman explains on how the two aspects of his lifeconnect with one another.
Kirt Shineman got into story telling as a child, which later evolved into the playwright he is today. Herecollects times of being a child and drawing pictures all over the wall, which of course his mother wouldmake him clean up. Before she would have him scrub the pictures off the wall she would ask him to tellthe story behind the picture and to him these stories were there to teach him lessons.
Shineman’s storytelling fun as a child has led him to a write many different plays that have been all overthe country, from California to New York City. He has been nominated and will be receiving an awardthis spring for one of his current plays at The Kennedy Center, in Washington D.C.
The award he will be receiving is called the NAPAT award, National Partners of the American PlaywritingAward. This award is given to the top contenders from 8 different regions across the United States. Ason the time being Shineman’s play, The Black Art is the top play at The Kennedy Center.
The Black Art is a bit of historical fiction about Johann Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press. Ittells a dramatic story of how he battled his whole life (and ended up dying poor, blind, and alone) onlyto end creating the printing press to only lose it to a man in court, Faust. Faust was told to be the manwho lent Gutenberg money to create the printing press. The play goes on to show that Faust actuallymade a deal with the devil to get the money for the printing press, therefore making the printing pressan invention of evil.
Shineman will be accepting the award Valentine’s Day of this year in Las Vegas, where he also will beable to attend a playwriting convention with other playwrights from the competition.
“Arts remind us who we are, that we are human. We behave metaphorically and arts bring us back tothat, passion. The arts remind us to be curious and bring us back to that love of existence,” saysShineman when explaining why arts are important to students and also to human beings existence.
Kirt Shineman’s accomplishments are ones that the GCC community is proud to have and congratulatehim once again on his accomplishments as a teacher and playwright.

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