Sean Thompson Lives Large after UST Education
After 40 years, non-degreed alumnus Sean K. “Skippy” Thompson still plans on returning to University of St. Thomas to finish his last semester of college and get his degree in English. Life interrupted his college plans, but it didn’t stop him from succeeding at his life work.
Then 17, Thompson came to UST in 1982 from an all-boys prep school in England. He was wide-eyed and impressionable. Enter Sam Havens, a professor who taught drama and playwriting. Havens encouraged, inspired and mentored Thompson, giving him the confidence to strike out in the world of theatre, radio and now internet broadcasting. Also encouraging the lad were English Professors Charles Krohn and Joy Linsley.
“All those professors helped shaped me from this 17-year old boy,” Thompson said. “They rewarded hard work and busted me when I needed to be busted. They showed me that college isn’t anything to fear. Sam got me my start,” Thompson said. “He taught me how to be a playwright.
Thompson still stays in touch with Havens. Also, Drama Professor Claire McDonald reaches out to him on a regular basis keeping him engaged with the University.
“To me,” McDonald said, “Sean is the perfect example of how indomitable the creative spirit can be. Whether onstage, on the air waves or in writing, his unique artistry is captivating.”
Thompson, a resident of The Woodlands, has a long list of accomplishments, including a published novel, award-winning screenplays and films.
“I wrote a screenplay, Jack EveryMan that turned into a film produced by Zakcom Entertainment in the early 2000s” Thompson said. “The film won a Remi Award at WorldFest International Film Festival. It was the best first feature from that production company. We were a low-budget operation up against films with multi-million dollar budgets. I starred in the film too as Jack Elkman. The word elkman is Dutch for everyman. The film is a slice of life loosely based on my own experience at the time – a divorced writer going through writer’s block while he raised his children.”
Today Thompson serves as artistic director at Points North Theatre in The Woodlands. He produces Shakespeare in the Park for The Woodlands Township every year. He also is a director on the board for StageWorks Theatre in the Cypress area, a community theatre with an acting academy. Thompson teaches Shakespeare to students at the academy.
The busy professional has a radio talk show, “Dick and Skippy in the Mornings,” on Lone Star Community Radio on Conroe FM and worldwide at www.irlonestar.com.
Recently, USTMAX staffers Carla E. Alsandor, Ph.D. and Brenda Banegas joined Skippy on his show. “Our recent interview on their show was terrific,” said Alsandor, who has served as the Center’s Interim Director and is Senior Director of Alumni Relations for the University. “Sean was so warm and welcoming and his love of UST was very evident. Brenda, who serves as USTMAX recruitment counselor, and I talked about the programs we offer at the Center, and we learned that as a student Sean was on the team that came up with the 'UST in the heart of HoUSTon' campaign. We were excited to gift him with a t-shirt showing that it’s still used today.”
Thompson Tours New UST Micro-Center in Conroe
Recently, Thompson stopped by the new USTMAX Center, a micro-campus that opened its doors in Conroe in October, to see what was brewing. “I just took a tour of the USTMAX Center,” he said. “It is an exciting, cutting-edge intimate space that is perfect for this COVID and post-COVID world. It has the infrastructure to handle virtual classes, and its smallness evokes memories of St. Thomas to me in general, which is that it is not a huge university where no one knows each other.”
UST Let’s You Dream Big and Realize those Dreams
When asked if Thompson would recommend UST to prospective students, he didn’t hesitate to answer. “UST always encouraged me to do what I wanted to do,” he said. “As a result, I own my own business, have movies with my name attached, plays that theatres put on, a published novel, a radio show and two streaming TV shows on Woodlands Online - Woodlands on Air, which is a weekly update on news and events and Purple Politics, which is a political talk show.” The shows can also be seen on Woodlands Online on Roku.