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Anacortes Senior College

Our Classes

Anacortes Community Theatre - Behind the Curtain


with Billy Hendrix

In this informative class, we will walk you through all of the steps necessary to get a quality show on the boards at ACT. With a cast of the very best at Anacortes Community Theatre, we will demonstrate through one production, all of the work (and play) that happens before the curtain rises, including:

  How a play is chosen and each season is designed

  What happens before auditions take place

  How auditions work and how one might prepare

  The magic of set design, building and painting

  The technical aspects of lighting and sound

  Costuming, hair and makeup

  How Stage Managers keep things moving smoothly

  How directors get the most from their actors to create their vision

  Actor’s secrets on memorizing lines, character development, flubs and recoveries

  The business end with a discussion of budgets, ticket sales and royalties

  Volunteer management and opportunities

Those at ACT take the community in community theatre seriously. You might be surprised how many people are involved in a single production. By the end of this class, you will find that each of the theatre’s fine productions are not just magic, but hard work by a group of dedicated volunteers that have fun while doing it.

Instructor: Billy Hendrix - Theatre Manager, Anacortes Community

Theatre Billy has a 27 year association with the Anacortes Community Theatre. He has acted in and directed numerous productions. Most recently, he directed Silent Sky. Last Christmas he directed Noel Noir, which he co-wrote with Bruce Rolfe. He has also directed Annie, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Of Mice and Men, Proof and To Kill a Mockingbird. Billy enjoys designing and building sets. He likes the challenge of designing workable sets for our small stage. Some of his favorites include The Drowsy Chaperon, Cinderella and Noel Noir. Billy lives in Anacortes with his partner Sally who has also been his stage manager. Other family members are also involved with theatre. His sisters Judy and Mary Ann at ACT and his twin brother Bob and his wife who are with the Whidbey Playhouse.

Industries of Anacortes


with Tom Kuhn

Our extremely popular series will again explore six of the many industries & services based in our local economy. The course will include representatives from the Dakota Creek, Janicki Industries, LAVLE USA Inc. (new technology marine batteries and applications), Cairnspring Mill, Lopez Creamery, and Skagit Valley College.

Facilitator: Tom Kuhn (Past President of Anacortes Senior College).

Our guest speakers will give presentations and answer questions.

Full Course

Memoir Writing


with Teru Lundsten

Your life is unique. You can find meaning in your life from writing your story and sharing it in confidence with others who are writing theirs. Learn about writing tools and memory prompts to help you prime the pump. People who think they can’t write will be surprised at how well they actually do, because they write about material that means so much to them. (Class size limited to 10 students.)

Instructor: Teru Lundsten

Teru began writing seriously in her thirties, in a class much like this. She belonged to an autobiographical writing group for 17 years, but also wrote in other genres, eventually becoming a journalist. She found her calling writing profiles of many different people, which led her to become a personal historian. For several years she helped people preserve their life stories by writing personal history books in the narrator’s voice, and served as the WA chapter chair of the Association of Personal Historians. She has taught memoir-writing at several venues in Anacortes, mostly at the ASC, and is now editing her own early memoirs.

Full Course

Ham Radio Principles and Operation


with Peter Witheford

In this course you will learn about the functions of Ham radio operators, the principles of radio operation, demonstrations of Ham radios and related equipment, and the FCC regulations. Ham radio, also known as Amateur radio, allows operation of special radios to send and receive voice, digital, and Morse code information over short and very long distances. Ham operators enjoy recreational communication with current friends and often new friends met over the radio. Hams also serve the community by providing communication ability in case of emergencies and disasters. On Fidalgo Island a group of Hams meet weekly to test 10 sites for radio function and operating procedures. These sites include the Hospital, Police and Fire stations, Salvation Army, and the Anacortes maintenance facility.

There is a county radio club that meets monthly and provides various educational and social events throughout the year. The membership of 150 includes men and women of all ages including some children as young as 10 years old and seniors aged up to 90. In the United States Ham radio operation is controlled by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and requires users to have a license. There are three levels of licensure called technician, general, and extra. Each level requires a short written test and provides increasing privileges in radio usage. Morse code is no longer required to become licensed. By the end of the course, you will have obtained enough information to be eligible to take a test for licensure if you wish. In the course there will be no examination. There will be some reading material provided free to course members.


Peter Witheford, FCC Extra License, 50+ years’ experience with electronic equipment and operating Ham radios.

Jay Ham, FCC Extra License, retired anesthesiologist, 45 years’ experience with electronic equipment, 3 years’ operating Ham radios.

Ann Marie Humphreys, FCC Extra License, Community leader in teaching women to operate Ham radios.

Ken Hunting, FCC Extra License, Career Coast Guard officer and longtime sailor experienced in Ham radio techniques on the ocean.

Lea Nichols, FCC Extra License, Managed an electronics business for many years and longtime sailor experienced in Ham radio techniques on the ocean.

Bob Cummings, FCC Advanced License, Career with Raytheon designing and testing antennas.

Ronald Johnston, FCC Extra License, experienced radio operator especially while traveling.

Richard Rodriguez, FCC General License, A marine Captain instructor, well versed in radio communications of all types as well as rules and regulations.

Our Amazing Constitution


with Michael Newbrough, Ph.D.

An introduction to the unique governmental system created by the U.S. Constitution of 1787. We will explore the principles and operation of the separation of powers, federalism, individual rights, and representative democracy—all original experiments at the time! We will also examine how and why it has been modified over the last two centuries, and the political crises we face today. This is the basic civics class that should be familiar to all American students, but which will be far more understandable and relevant to those who have lived under its umbrella for many decades. Current events and class discussions included. Pocket Constitutions will be supplied.

Instructor: Michael Newbrough, Ph.D.

Michael holds a BA in French and an MA in Political Science from the Univ. of Nevada, and a PhD in Political Science from the Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, and was a Fulbright Scholar (graduate study in International Relations) at l’Université de Paris. He was a professor in the Dep’t of Economics, History, and Political Science at Palomar College in San Marcos, Calid. for 30 years. He has found refuge in Anacortes for the last 15 years.

Full Course

Three Good Movies: Truth to Power


with Mark Lundsten

We will watch an international collection of three good movies about bringing truth to power: Woman at War (Iceland, 2018, subtitles), The Lives of Others (Germany, 2006, subtitles), and All the President’s Men (U.S., 1976).

In weeks #1, #3, and #5, we will screen the films. These classes will run about a half hour extra. Then, in weeks #2, #4, and #6, we will review and discuss each of the movies.

Instructor: Mark Lundsten

Mark received a BA in English and then spent many years working as a commercial halibut fisherman in Alaska, during which time he made his first movie. Since retiring from fishing, he has made a few more. His short film The Bath played in many film festivals and won a number of awards. For a few years, Mark also conducted the Second Sunday Film Series in Anacortes.

First Aid for Dogs and Cats


with Bill Testerman

If you love your pet, you will love this class! We will examine the most common injuries that may arise from the curiosity of dogs and cats and how to effectively treat them. There will also be a discussion of CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and a chance to practice the technique. We will also cover common concerns of small animals that owners have and ways to keep pets healthy.

Instructor: Bill Testerman, DVM. 

Bill has been a practicing veterinarian for the past 46 years, graduating from Auburn University. After a stint in the U.S. Army, Bill & his wife joined the Peace Corps and served for two years in Peru. Later, when they had three children, they returned to Bolivia where he was an instructor in a veterinary college for two years. He has spent the last 30 years in Anacortes working with mostly small animals and occasionally farm animals that have become family pets. Although officially retired, Bill still enjoys filling in for relief work to keep up with the latest in veterinary medicine.

(3 weeks: November 5, 12, 19) 

Napoleon Bonaparte and his Era


with Bill Dietrich

This course examines the life of the French conqueror who helped establish the foundation of our modern world. The first class will be “Napoleon at War” – an analysis of his military & political rise and fall and their consequences. The second will be “Napoleon in Love” – a look at Bonaparte’s colorful personal life and that of his contemporaries. The third class will be “Napoleon on Trial.” Students will be asked to participate in a debate about whether Napoleon was hero or villain, a positive force or a plague.

Instructor: Bill Dietrich

Bill is a former journalist and historical novelist whose Ethan Gage series of adventures, set in Napoleonic times, have sold into 28 languages.

(3 weeks: November 5, 12, 19) 

Full Course

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