Colleges Invest in the Arts: Northeast State ushers in New Era
Students will have "A Venue Unlike Any They Have Experienced"
By Angela Wampler | October 29, 2007Northeast State Technical Community College ? Blountville, Tenn.
The Regional Center for the Performing Arts on campus will usher in a new era in theater performance at Northeast State.
Michael Aulick, Assistant Professor of Theater, says, "The Performing Arts Center creates dozens of new opportunities for the region to be educated, enlightened, and entertained by a diverse group of artists and performers. The theater's size and professional trappings will give drama students a venue unlike any they have experienced."
Northeast State Theatre has tackled major productions in recent years. The program enjoyed a wonderful 2006-2007 season with The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Importance of Being Earnest and The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail drawing more than 1,000 audience members. Last year, more than 6,000 people — students and general public — attended campus events at the college.
The last show in the old auditorium will be A Christmas Carol in December. In the new center, upcoming productions include The Wizard of Oz in March and Romeo and Juliet in April.
The performing arts center contains 36,000 square feet, including a 500-seat theater. It is connected via bridge walkway with the new 45,000-square foot Academic Building opened this fall. The Academic Building houses 18 classrooms and the faculty offices of the divisions of Humanities and Behavioral and Social Sciences. Classrooms are dedicated for performance (acting), fine art, and music.
Aulick says, "There are a lot of people on campus who have ideas as to the future of the new space. I think I speak for most of the major players when I say we all want it to be a great performing arts venue for our students as well as the community. I want the student participation to grow as well as the community involvement. In addition, I believe there are designs on renting the complex to outside agents to use as a venue, but that won't happen until September 2008."
The Northeast State Foundation has received donations from people purchasing one or more of the theatre seats that will be affixed with a brass nameplate dedicated to the patron. More than 400 seats have already been purchased for dedication with approximately 40 seats still available. All donations go to the foundation's scholarship fund for students.
For more about the other schools who invest in the arts click HERE.
Shadows along the hallway of Northeast State's new building.
The stage in the 500-seat theatre takes shape.