Meet the Staff
It takes many fine people to run the Westlake Community Performing Arts Center, most importantly a great full-time staff. These individuals not only help keep the facility running but they serve as a resource to all of the students in the Westlake Technical Entertainment Crew.
David Poole is the Managing Director of the Westlake Community Performing Arts Center. He oversees the performing arts venues, technical theater program and the Chaparral Football Television Broadcast.
From June 2007 to December 2008, Mr. Poole had the privilege of being the Operations Director for the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin. During his tenure at the Long Center's multi-venue performance facility, he directed the completion of the initial building construction, hired a technical staff of 25, and managed the opening of this state of the art facility.
Mr. Poole graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelors of Science degree in Radio-Television-Film and a Secondary Teachers Certification in Theater. In 2001 he received a Masters degree from Tarleton State University at Stephenville in Education Administration. Prior to taking the position at Westlake High School, Mr. Poole worked in the entertainment industry as an audio engineer and artist manager. He is an active member of the International Association of Assembly Managers. Mr. Poole is proud to have founded the Westlake Technical Entertainment Crew (TEC) in 1997, and has been highly influential in the many student successes in the TEC organization.
Jeff Strange, PAC Technical Supervisor, joined the EISD staff in January of 2009. Mr. Strange grew up in the Westlake area and graduated from Westlake High School in 2004. He was the president of the Westlake Technical Entertainment Crew from 2003 to 2004. After high school, Mr. Strange received a BFA in Theater Production Arts from Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY. He has previously worked as a Sound Engineer and Assistant Sound Designer at Williamstown Theater Festival in Williamastown, MA. Most recently Mr. Strange worked as an Assistant Technical Director at the Long Center in Austin, TX.
Michael Essad is the new Technical Director at the Westlake Community Performing Arts Center. His career spans over the course of thirty years. He has worked from coast to coast and in many different organizations, including regional LORT and educational theater as well as touring both rock and roll and theatrical groups.
For the past 11 years, he has been the Technical Director, Resident Scenic Designer and an Adjunct Instructor for The Pittsburgh Playhouse and Point Park University. Throughout his career Michael Essad has been the technical director for well over two hundred productions and a scenic designer for more than seventy shows. His career includes 3 years as the Technical Director at the Pittsburgh Public Theater and 6 years at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami where he produced many world premiers and sent several shows to Broadway. Other credits include the Berkeley Repertory Theater, California Shakespeare Festival, Actors Playhouse in Miami, San Jose Repertory Company and the California Theater Center in Sunnyvale California. He has also designed for the Asolo Theater in Sarasota Florida and Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theater in Pittsburgh. One of the great highlights of Michael Essad's career was as a lead technician / crew supervisor for the half time show for Super Bowl 29. He also designs and builds furniture for both theatrical productions and the private sector as well.