Prescott College Affiliation : Alumni
Program : On-Campus Undergraduate Programs
Area of Study : Environmental Education
Graduation Year : 1974
John has followed his instincts and reached for truth. His diverse interests have given him a "desire to look beyond the accepted, to experience the wildest terrain he could access, to refuse inherent mediocrity and assumed social standards and to celebrate humanity." Environmentalist, activist, acrobat, playwright, director and teacher, Flax has led a fulfilling life and one that has helped his community become a better place.
Flax, an environmental education graduate, feels Prescott College taught him the value of an open-mind and how to think for himself such that he can step into new situations with his eyes wide open. The College gave him not only the confidence to create his own path in life but also a solid support network to develop a foundation for his life's work. After graduating, he worked as a freelance outdoor writer and as an outdoor leader with Colorado Outward Bound and the Colorado Springs School.
But this wasn't enough. Flax wanted to improve public education, and thus pursued a doctorate in education at the University of Northern Colorado School for Educational Change and Development. Instead of writing a dissertation, John was inspired to write a novel. He turned to theater to develop the characters of his story and in doing so found the Theatre de la Jeune Lune (Theater of the Young Moon) a French-American company. The company "rocked his world," and he decided to join them. He signed on as an acting intern and writer and eventually wrote scripts and became the main acrobat. He left the theater company in 1981 to study at the Ecole Jacques Lecoq, a conservatory in Paris. Just two years later, he found the niche that has become his life career as the artistic director for Theater Grottesco. The company has won awards in France and the United States and performed productions in seven countries and 30 states. They have created eleven full-length and over 40 short original productions. In 1999 the national "Artists in Community Project" recognized Flax as an artist who represented all fields. Currently, Theater Grottesco is collaborating with the Out of Context Orchestra, a conduction orchestra on a benchmark production about environment and the social paradigms that keep us from action.
After all of his experiences, Flax realizes that Prescott College's motto is right on. It is about "the journey, not the destination." He has developed reverence for nature in all its forms because it has shown him the infinite possibilities for the world, his fellow human beings and himself. Last, but certainly not least, he has committed himself to social justice on a large scale because "none of us can be free if any are oppressed," he said. His words of wisdom to those of us starting our journeys in life are to be patient and humble.
John Flax is recognized as a Desert Star because he has successfully embodied the mission statement of Prescott College. He has spent his life helping to improve the community in his own way and has dared to live his dream.
"It is about the journey, not the destination."
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