Nathan Allen Wyman

Theatre Artist and Educator

New Door opens to opportunity (literally!)

I  was very excited on Thursday when I got a text message from Lowes home improvment store that our new front door was ready to be picked up.  I ordered it a couple of weeks ago when there was a sale on at Home Depot (they do a price matching deal.)  I like to do my home improvment shopping at Lowes because it is in Liberty , whereas Home Depot is in Kansas City (as an adult I like to see my tax revenue support my town when I can help it!)

Here I will document the process of demolition of the old door (and I DO mean demolition) and the instalation of the new door.  It turned out to be a two day + process  that actually leads into another home improvment project.

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1.  The first step was to remove the trim around the old door on this inside to see just how much room I had to work with.  Standard entry doors require a certain amount of space for a rough opening.  Our opening was by no means “standard” as the door we removed was at least 30 years old and looks like it had been adapted several times (once by me after we moved in) to accomodate settling of the foundation of the foyer space.  The old door had been cut, sanded, padded out at the hinges, jam repairs, door knob moved and hole patched.  It was a very well used door which has earned it’s well deserved its retirement.  I may repurpose part of it in another project (stay tuned!)  This picture illustrates the door without it’s trim.  Look at the wall gaps around the door!  Ugh.  This was only the beginning!

2. Julianne set up a plastic barrier to keep the dust out of the rest of the house.  She is my Safety Officer, also responsible for reminding me to wear masks, goggles and gloves.  I was good most of the time.  Thanks Julianne for keeping me safe and healthy.

3.  When I discovered that the left side of the rough opening wasn’t going to be tall enough I knew I would need to break out some of the floor tile.  This turned out to be the catalyst for the next part of the project: to finish off the whole foyer.  I have a plan which involves a set of built-in book cases and columns and a bench with basket storage underneath.  But first, i had to break the tile with a hammer and then break it away with either a shovel or tile chisel.  HARD WORK!  We knew this wasnt the tile we wanted anyway, so it was really fun to break it out!

4. After the tile was removed, I commenced on the door removal.  It felt really good to pull the hinge pins and carry the heavy warped door to the porch.  I carefully removed the hinges (i’m not sure why) and then with pry bar in hand, pulled the broken frame of the door out.

5. After the frame was out, I pulled the new door unit over to the opening and realized I needed to pull out all of the wood from the rough opening.  This involved removing some really old/heavy-duty nuts from bolts that are embedded in the concrete wall blocks.  This must be the method for securing a door into the rough opening.  I discovered the same bolts on the back door I replaced last summer.  I had to use a circular saw to cut the old 2×6 lumber and get it out of the opening.

6. with a bare bones rough opening I began to calculate what it would take to put the door back in.  To my surprise and dissapointment, I discovered I could have left the 2×6 in its place afterall and just removed the plank across the top.  This was frustrating, but it managed to work out.  I went back to Lowe’s and bought new treated 2x6s to reinstall.  I had to drill holes in the wood so that the bolts could go through and secure them to the house.

7.  Finally the opening was set, but I had to close shop for the day, so I screwed a piece of plywood over the opening for the night and saved the rest for the next day.  I had plans to watch Doctor Who with my friend Stephen that night.

8. When I got back to work the next day,  I realized I had to buy a masonry blade for the circular saw so I could cut the header made of concrete.  So another trip to Lowe’s.  I just needed to shave off 1/4″ on the left side so the door would fit in.  I know this isnt the traditional method of door instalation, but what could I do?  I learned a new skill… Masonry cutting which was practice for when i remove the wall between the kitchen and the living room (also made of concrete!)

9. After cutting grooves into the header, I used the chisel to break them away.  It reminded me of sculpture class in college using hammer and chisel to carve a fish out of soapstone!  It was fun!  I kept hitting my knuckles with the hammer though… it hurt for weeks after!

10.  I moved the new door unit over and slipped it in place and began the process of leveling it into the awkward opening.  It took several tries and longer than it should have because there was just me.  I should have called in a favor from a friend.  (Julianne was visiting her parents for the weekend).

11.  I finally got it all leveled and secured and the door opened and closed with an even gap all around.  I finished securing it with screws and put the old hardware back on.

12.  With the old door knob and deadbolt on, i was able to test the locking mechanisms and test it for latching.  IT WORKS!  NO more seasonal locking.  Before, with the old door, we could lock the deadbolt in the summer and the door knob in the winter.  It’s just the way the wood door and jam swelled or shrunk in the temperature change.  There was no way to repair this since both the door jam and the door were rotten.

13.  The final step in this stage of the process was spraying in the expandable foam insulation.  This is “Great Stuff” (that’s the name of the product too) specially formulated for door and window application.  If you use the regular stuff it could move the wood and cause the door to stick or even worse, not close!  I cleaned up the debris (and there was a ton of it) and hauled the old door to the barn…it might look nice on the barn.  🙂

Completed install of door.

So, that was a step-by-step account of our new door installation.  I hope I never have to do that again!  Though, I know we need to replace the outside door in Julianne’s studio…it’s a wood framed part of the  house, so it won’t be quite as difficult!

Stay tuned for part two:  The Foyer coming up soon!



Announcing the 2011-2012 Jewell Theatre Season

Mainstage Series

The 2011-2012 main stage plays show us individuals caught in tumultuous storms of political intrigue, religious games playing, individual posturing, and corrupt use of power.

A Man For All Seasons by Robert Bolt

November 10-12 @ 7:00 PM, also 2:00 on November 12

In Robert Bolt’s play, Thomas More, Chancellor of England remains silent when Henry VIII demands that More support Henry’s divorce from Catherine to marry Anne Boleyn. More’s integrity of conscience is tested to the extreme in the presence of yes men and the common throng that follows the flow of history. A play not to be missed; the characters and what they say tend to have a marked impact on audiences.

Living Creation by Francis Warner (US Premiere)

April 12-14 @ 7:00 PM, also 2:00 on April 14

Art and religion don’t mix. Politics and religion don’t mix. Or they do depending on who is controlling the mix. Lorenzo de’ Medici, magnetic ruler of fifteenth century Golden Age Florence, Italy finds himself caught between the spring like beauty of Botticelli’s paintings and the religious rigidity of the book burning Savonarola. Lorenzo teeters in his faith. Botticelli begins to temper his Greco-Roman themes in his art. The plague, a platonic interpretation of Christianity, and corruption in the Roman Church intensify the roiling events of the time. This play in its United States premiere is written by renowned Oxford playwright Francis Warner and is part of his mammoth thirteen playAgora which focuses on great epochs in human history from ancient Greece to the twentieth century.

Tickets to Mainstage productions are $8, and $5 with a Jewell ID.

Student Series

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) by The Reduced Shakespeare Co.

February 3 & 4 @ 7:00 PM

A Senior Theatre Performance by Karina Bielecki

38 plays. 3 actors. 1 literary genius. Three Shakespearean “experts” attempt to condense all of the playwright’s wit, passion, tragedy, romance, swordfights, and star-crossed lovers into one evening’s performance. Can it be done? Even if it can’t, the results are bound to be entertaining.

All Seats are only $5.

Jewell Theatre Showcase

December 7 and May 2 @ 7:00

Jewell Theatre students perform and display their work from class.

Free Admission

Exciting News from Jewell Theatre!

It’s the second week of August already and that means school is just around the corner.  It’s been a busy summer at Jewell Theatre and there area a lot of new and exciting things to celebrate!

Jewell Theatre Symposium

In June, Jewell Theatre hosted it’s first High School Theatre Symposium.  We had about 20 students from 7 different area high schools at Peters Theater for a day of workshops.  Several alumns from the program were back to teach workshops and get to know these students: Adam Martin (’05) who teaches at North Kansas City High School, Tiffany Croom (’04) now at Kearney High School, Katherine (Myers) Gehrlein (’11) starting her first year at Eastgate Middleschool, and Brian Gehrlein (’10) who will be performing at the Coterie Theatre at Crown Center soon.  We also had artist Julianne Donovan of Keen Bee Creative on hand to teach a workshop as well.  Some workshops offered were Stage Combat, Old Age Makeup, Stage Lighting, and Shakespeare 101.  Everyone had a great time, but better yet, those students want to come back next summer for a full week of Jewell Theatre Camp!  So be on the lookout for information about that! Click HERE for some photos from the event.

Digital Media Laboratory

With the help of Rob Quinn, chair of the Department of Art, we wrote a grant to get two iMacs to share between our departments.  Our plans were to combine our resources to begin to assemble a computer lab for artists at Jewell.  Our grant proposal was accepted with some additional support from the Provost’s office.  So, what started as a lab with 8 iMacs, is becoming a lab with12 iMacs in a dedicated space in Brown Hall!  Room G-07, below the theatre and on the same level as Art, is right now being equipped with furniture and technology for this lab.  Art courses in Computer Graphics and Digital Photography will make use of the room as well as Theatre courses teaching sound and video editing and posters and programs.   Photos to come.

Art & Theatre Design Studio

Across the hall from the Digital Media Lab will be the Design Studio for both Art and Theatre students!  This room (Brown Hall G-10) was formerly the Psychology Experimental Lab.  New Drawing tables and storage cabinets are being installed to make this room an up-to-date creative space!  One of the main bonuses of using this room is the simple fact of having running water; there is a sink for easy clean up of paint and brushes. The room will also be set up with a fridge, microwave, speakers with iPod hook up, and a lounge area with soft seating.  It should be a great spot for work and play.  Photos to come.

Guest Artist- Tina Campbell

This fall we welcome Tina Campbell as our guest artist who will be designing and building costumes for our fall play production.  Tina is a graduate of UMKC’s MFA Theatre Design program.  She also taught for several years at Marquett University in Wisconsin as the Costume Designer and Shop Manager.  She comes highly reccomended and is fully qualified to do the job.  So, welcome Ms. Tina Campbell when you arrive or visit campus.

2011-2012 Jewell Theatre Season- Historical and sometimes histerical!

Our season of shows this year all have a bit of a historical theme.  The Mainstage offierings are:

     A Man For All Seasons by Robert Bolt

     November 10-12 @ 7:00 PM, also 2:00 on the 11/12

     Living Creation by Francis Warner (US Premiere)

     April 12-14 @ 7:00 PM, also 2:00 on the 4/14

     Regular admission $8, $5 with a Jewell ID

The Student Series includes:

     The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) by The Reduced Shakespeare Co.

     A Senior Theatre Performance by Karina Bielecki

    February 3 & 4 @ 7:00 PM

     All Seasts $5

     Jewell Theatre Showcase

     December 7 and May 2 @ 7:00

     Free Admission

In Summary

Like I said, there is a lot to celebrate this fall when students come back to campus.  We at Jewell Theatre are excited to get this year started.  Please come back often to read what is going on.  We’ll be posting photos and maybe even some video of things we’re doing!  You can also visit us on Facebook and always email us at