Barstow Community College has hired longtime educator and former Hi-Desert Playhouse Executive Director Ed Will as its Civic Center and College Events Manager. In other words, he will manage and line up shows for the college's $25 million Performing Arts Center.

Will, 60, is a San Bernardino native. He recently moved to Barstow from Twentynine Palms with his new bride Amanda, who accepted a job at Cameron Elementary in the Barstow Unified School District.

He has been on the job since Jan. 19.

"I'm ecstatic," said Will. "It's an incredible facility.

"I’m so excited about being the new PAC Man at BCC."

"We are quite fortunate to have Ed and Amanda joining our community, and we are very excited about Ed’s new role at our college,” Barstow Community College Superintendent/President Dr. Debbie DiThomas said in a written statement.

Will said his goals for the Performing Arts Center are two-fold.

"My immediate goals are to, 1) ensure continuity and growth in audience participation and 2) innovation in the performing arts through hosting performances of musicals, plays, comedy, music and dance and appreciation of exceptional works that enrich the lives of individuals and benefit communities throughout the Barstow area.

"Long-term goals would be to instill consistency in quality of our offerings in all presentations of the BCC PAC. Audiences would learn to expect only the best in events produced at the BCC PAC, whether in-house offerings or outside groups that we host."

Will said his duties at the Performing Arts Center will differ somewhat from his role at the Hi-Desert Playhouse.

"My job at the Hi Desert Playhouse was a 'Jack of All Trades' to include being an Artistic Director, where I guaranteed that the plays and musicals would make it to the stage," he said. "At the BCC PAC, I won’t be directing any shows but bringing in talent from outside of the area to be featured on our stage for the Barstow community. I will mostly be coordinating the college-sponsored activities and booking in events around any open dates."

No contracts have been signed yet, but Will said he does hope to have several acts locked up for 2017 performances at the PAC in the near future.

"I have only been in this job for two and a half weeks now but I’m looking at bringing in the funk band Desert Sol (music from James Brown to Bruno Mars), Swing Sisters Trio (Lennon-McGuire Sisters style music) for Mother’s Day on May 14, a Chicago Blues Night in July and a touring Broadway musical company to perform 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' in the fall," he said. "None of this is locked in yet, but hey, you asked!"

Early in his career, Will taught instrumental and vocal music at the elementary, junior high and high school levels, according to BCC spokesman Chris Clarke.

Will has a bachelor’s degree in music from San Diego State University and a masters in secondary education and musical theater from California State University, San Bernardino. 

He has served as the executive director for four nonprofit organizations: The Morongo Basin United Way, the Armed Forces YMCA, the Hi Desert Medical Center Foundation and the Morongo Basin Adult Health Services.

Will resigned from the Morongo Unified School District Board of Trustees last July after serving for 12 years. He also was a member of the Joshua Tree Rotary Club (serving as president twice), and was the Morongo Basin Rotary Assistant Governor for 2013-14. 

Will has worked as an adjunct professor at Copper Mountain Community College since 1992, where he teaches Rock 'n’ Roll on Monday evenings in addition to two online sections.

Will's wife Amanda just won the part of Dolly Levi in the Barstow Community College production of "Hello Dolly," which is set for April at the PAC. Music and Theatre Arts Instructor Amy Ross assured everyone that “Amanda landed the role of Dolly Levi based strictly on her audition and the talent she will bring to the stage. We are lucky to have her with us!” 

DiThomas agreed.

“I am really looking forward to Amanda’s portrayal of Dolly in our theater," she said.