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Midland Living

Meet Carl and Jane Moore

Apr 16, 2019 01:30PM
by elizabeth york | photos by studio 1401

On a sunny morning, Midlanders Carl Beery Moore and Jane Moore welcomed another visitor into their central Midland home, offering a glass of iced tea and a seat at their picnic-style kitchen table. The patio doors let light stream in from the verdant backyard garden.

 

Around the corner, a homeless youth stayed in one of their spare bedrooms. Their pet dogs sniffed the third visitor under the table, a rambunctious puppy belonging to their teenage houseguest.

For the Moores, strangers don’t stay that way for long. Their outgoing warmth is part of what makes them Midland gems. The Moores have each lived in various locales; Carl grew up in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Jane lived throughout the United States and in Germany as the child of a U.S. Army family.

 

Jane, a longtime junior high school theatre teacher, came to Midland in 1984 to help care for her mother. She taught at San Jacinto Junior High School. Carl moved to the Tall City in 1993 to teach theatre at Greenwood High School. The two fell in love during their time working on the Midland Community Theatre production, “I Hate Hamlet,” in 1995. “I was playing the ghost of John Barrymore and she was playing the agent to a young actor,” Carl reminisced, referencing a framed photo of himself and Jane, both dressed in Shakespearean regalia and embracing.

The couple are equally as striking more than two decades later – she with vivid green eyes and red hair, he with a distinguished white beard and glasses. Their love for one another and for theatre has continued to play out. Throughout the years, they have participated in numerous productions – both as actors and as directors.

For Jane, theatre has been part of her life since childhood. “When I was 9, my Girl Scout troop put on a play. I’ve pretty much loved it ever since then,” she said. Carl reflected, “It took me a long time to figure it out. Theatre is the art that truly reflects life. What I like about theatre is that you get to take someone else’s idea and make it clear. Sometimes you find yourself bringing a clarity that even the author didn’t anticipate.”



While theatre productions are fun, they’re also a commitment. Actors can expect to rehearse for three hours a day, five to six times per week. “You also try to carve out time during the day to memorize lines and play out your part,” Carl said. “You think through, ‘What does this line mean? Why did the author choose this particular word?’”

As directors of at least one show per year, they strive to remain faithful to playwrights’ wording and original intentions. “The audience is the factor that tells you if your intention is successful,” Carl said. “We’ve got tremendous audiences,” Jane added.

MCT is widely considered to be one of the top five community theatres in the nation. “There are professional theatres that don’t have what MCT has,” Carl explained. “It has state-of-the-art lighting, sound, a beautiful plant, Davis Theatre, Mabee Theatre, and the Yucca Theatre. MCT Executive Director, Tim Jebsen, makes the community theatre such a good organization to be part of.”

Jebsen calls the Moores “amazing volunteers.” He said of them, “Their commitment to the organization includes acting, directing, working backstage and working in the box office. There’s no area of the theatre that has not been improved by their hard work and involvement.”


 

The Moores have even served as narrators, and helped in Midland Festival Ballet and Globe Theatre productions. “You’re right out here in the middle of metro sticks, and you have so many people who understand and appreciate art,” Carl said. “There is a strong ballet, arts, the Midland-Odessa Symphony & Chorale…it’s just wonderful. People here are willing to not only enjoy the arts, but to invest in them.”


Following her retirement, Jane served as a substitute and short-term teacher for a time. Carl teaches a theatre class at Trinity School. One of the most rewarding aspects of their efforts over the years is seeing their former students blossom. “Children we have taught have grown up to be theatre people and friends of ours, as well. That’s an interesting phenomenon,” Jane said.
 
Since 2010, Carl has also served as the benevolence counselor for First Presbyterian Church. “It’s rewarding to talk to people in need, to help build up their spirits and take the pressure of the financial burden off,” Carl said. He coordinates services and works with other organizations to meet needs like rent payments. “I can take their hands and pray with them, and let them know that someone cares about them,” he said.


 

First Presbyterian Outreach Pastor, Walter Thompson, described Carl: “He plays an essential role as FPC seeks to extend the love of Jesus to our Midland community. Carl brings a great balance of compassion, practicality and wisdom; he seeks to bring God’s healing and blessing to the whole person.”

When they’re not involved in their community pursuits, they like to spend time with family, including Carl’s two children and three grandchildren, and Jane’s two sisters. Carl is taking his passion for acting to Iowa in the summer, where he will play in Clinton Area Showboat Theatre’s “Tuesdays with Morrie.” Carl said, “I always like to learn and do something new. That’s the secret to a happy life – always discovering.” 

 








  

Carl offers advice to those of any age: “Jump in the middle of life and be part of it, and don’t be a spectator. Jane and I treasure the opportunity to be in a community that offers us the opportunity to scratch our itches, and appreciates us for it. I think the West Texas atmosphere is so friendly and welcoming and generous; the people in Midland are great.” †  
Digital Issue Summer 2019

 

  
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