The Mayborn Science Theater at Central Texas College unveiled its first production Thursday to those who made it possible.

“We are turning a new corner,” planetarium director Fred Chavez said.

“Night Catch,” a short film based on the book by Brenda Ehrmantraut, was produced in-house with help from students and Scott Sumner, the theater’s producer and educator, Chavez said. It tells the story of a deployed soldier who tells his son how to play catch using the night sky.

“It is near and dear to our hearts, because in the community we live in, everyone has been touched by the military,” he said.

The show runs about nine minutes with nearly six minutes of digital storytelling followed by about three minutes of starscape instruction.

It is a production that we call “entercation,” a film that entertains and educates those who watch it, Chavez said. It debuts to the public Nov. 1.

Production of the show was made possible by the Mayborn Foundation, which funds the science theater’s operations.

“Tonight would not be possible had Mrs. (Sue) Mayborn not moved us to do production,” said Thomas Klincar, Central Texas College chancellor.

Because of her and the foundation’s efforts, the science theater was able to afford the equipment for the production and more.

“The Mayborn Foundation has been instrumental in giving us a good program,” Chavez said. “When she says you are heading down the right path, we know we are doing the right thing.”

Mayborn said it was rewarding to be part of the creative process.

“I thought it was an outstanding production,” she said.

“I was impressed with what they have done.”

Retired Gen. Robert Shoemaker enjoyed the screening.

“I think it was absolutely unbelievable that technology can do something like that,” he said. “I am proud that our community can do something to this level. This is just the beginning of what they can do.”

In production for more than a year, “Night Catch” premiered during the theater’s 10-year anniversary celebration. Thursday’s event was the first presented under the venue’s new name — Mayborn Science Theater.

The new name depicts everything that the center is about, Chavez said.

“When you say science theater, you start to explore everything we do,” Klincar said.

The planetarium has served more than 333,000 visitors since it opened, Chavez said.

Contact Mason W. Canales at ​ or (254) 501-7474

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