Whether students choose to study theater and performance as their major, or students simply want to pursue acting as a part-time hobby, community colleges provide students with an array of performance opportunities. With formal audience-based stage events, and small-circuit drama clubs, students can become involved in the study and practice of acting, drama, and theater by engaging in some of the diverse opportunities at local community schools.
Acting and Theater Opportunities
Seminole Community College (SCC)
At Seminole Community College, students can engage in an array of performance opportunities with the SCC Theater Program. Here, SCC “Combines the education and expertise of an outstanding faculty with a well-rounded curriculum that is built on the foundation of a liberal arts education.” During the instructional school year, students are provided with multiple opportunities to act and perform on stage, while students can also participate by working in one of the many technical positions. These hands-on opportunities are designed to provide students with faculty and expert guidance in order to prepare students for their futures in the performance arts.
As SCC asserts, the greatest benefit and advantage of their unique program is, “The opportunity for immediate student involvement both onstage and backstage. From set construction to sound design, we stress active participation from our tech students and those interested in performance.” If working on the technical elements of theater, students will gain experience by utilizing equipment, learning about the different responsibilities, while also learning the details of running lights, sound systems, and other specific tasks. During the 2008 and 2009 academic year, for example, students were provided with opportunities to hone their skills with five major student products, a dance concert performance, and even a guest artist production.
This video offers a look at the theater and film program at Seminole Community College.
Lane Community College (LCC)
Lane Community College is another highly respected institution offering diverse and unique theater courses. LCC’s Theater Arts program is devoted to “Providing a high-quality education within a safe and supportive center for artistic development. The diverse curriculum emphasizes the discipline of teamwork.” In focusing on its goals, LCC’s Theater Arts program provides students with fundamental performance production opportunities, where students can improve their performance skills on stage and with other emerging media forums. Adding to this, LCC encourages, “self desiring enrichment opportunities,” as the program promotes individually inspired opportunities for enhancement. To improve theater and acting skills with peers, instructors, and independently, students can take advantage of the many theater productions and opportunities hosted by the school. Performed in front of a live audience, students can participate in venues such as:
- One-act plays
- Full length plays
- Student cabarets and showcases
- Recitals dramatizing literature
- Shakespeare recital
- Film and video presentations
To present the various performances, LCC offers students and audiences two different theater houses. Their Blue Door Theater provides actors and audiences with enhanced and innovative light and sound systems, in addition to a newly renovated entry and seating area. Additionally, LCC’s Performance Hall can host 490 audience members, as their state-of-the-art computerized lighting system attracts many theatrical and technical theater students. In addition to this perk, the Performance Hall also is one of the features that attract both technical and performing students. Other amenities include a “complete fly system, thrust stage, orchestra pit and versatile sound reinforcement capability.”
Offering support for students to engage in the various performances and classes, LCC also provides theater students with “Talent Grants.” The Music, Dance, and Theater Departments of LCC collaborate to offer several talent grants that range in various scholarship award amounts. Most notably, the Helen Jones Memorial Scholarship provides one student with $1,000 for financial support during the full-time academic year.
This video offers an overview of the theater program at Lane Community College.
Harford Community College (HCC)
Offering a unique program in Design and Technical Theater, Harford Community College focuses on “the specialized technical and artistic skills required to execute contemporary theatrical productions.” By working with expert faculty members, HCC students are able to create “an artistic point of view within a professional work ethic appropriate for the theatre.” The Design and Technical Theater major provides students with opportunities to participate in productions and various weekend activities to improve their presentation and collaborative performance skills. While working with actors and live-stage events, students exposed to various forms, including dramatic plays, ballet productions, musical theater, and even mime.
This video offers a look at the theater program at Harford Community College.
Whether you want to perform on stage or work behind the scenes, community college programs can foster both creative and technical foundations to prepare you for a fruitful career.
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