Northeast State Raises Curtain on Regional Performing Arts Center
August 14, 2008BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. ? Northeast State Technical Community College christened the Regional Center for the Performing Arts of the Humanities Complex on Aug. 12, 2008 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the region's newest public performance venue.
"This will be one of the finest performing arts centers in our region," said Northeast State President Dr. Bill Locke. "The biggest thing the theater will do is provide a place where people from across the region can come and participate in cultural events, in a beautiful setting that is close to the center of the Tri-Cities."
Located on the college's main campus adjacent to Tri-Cities Airport, the 36,000-square foot building contains a 500-seat theater, fine arts classrooms, and a physical education laboratory. The theater almost triples the performance space currently available at the campus's 200-seat auditorium. The theater's stage depth extends 34 feet from the proscenium to the theater's back wall. The theater's fly system of set equipment can accommodate scenery up to 24 feet wide.
The Center for the Performing Arts heralds a new era in cultural opportunities for the region. The center aims to give the public greater access to theater and musical performances, notable lectures, and other interesting cultural events.
"When we stage a production we can make decisions based on what is artistically the best choice," said Michael Aulick, assistant professor of Theater at Northeast State. "In years past, we based our choices on what we had to do because of our limitations."
The center represents the final piece of Northeast State's $15 million Humanities Complex. The adjoining Humanities classroom building was completed last summer and welcomed students for the 2007 fall semester.
Northeast State Theatre productions and special events sponsored by the college's cultural activities committee have recorded significant attendance numbers in recent years. More than 6,000 people including students and the public attended cultural events at the Blountville campus during the 2008 academic year. Northeast State Theater's appeal also continues to grow ? the past year's productions of "The Pillowman," "A Christmas Carol," and Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" attracted more than 2,000 people to campus.
"The Northeast State Theatre program is committed to providing a quality education in the art of theatre for students who want to pursue it as a career as well as choosing plays that might offer the students in the audience a chance to learn as well," said Aulick. "The new complex is a critical step in our ability to continue to do both."
The Northeast State Foundation received several generous gifts from individuals, public, and private organizations seeking to support the theater and scholarship opportunities at the College. Each theater seat features a brass plate bearing the name of an individual donor or a name made in recognition of a donor's family or friends. All donations will be used to fund scholarships for Northeast State students.
For more about the new performing arts center click HERE.
The center aims to give the public greater access to theater and musical performances, notable lectures, and other interesting cultural events.