Capital Community College

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Capital Community College Launches Theatre Program in Partnership with Hartford Stage

By Natalie Pertz, Resident Teaching Artist

Theatre Arts ProgramThis autumn marks a season of growth and further collaboration for Capital Community College and Hartford Stage. Earlier this year, Capital Community College announced a new Associate’s Degree program in Theatre Arts, with the first classes beginning this semester. Hartford Stage, along with other neighboring arts organizations including TheaterWorks, Sea Tea Improv and HartBeat Ensemble, have partnered with Capital Community College in this new venture. These organizations will work with Capital Community College to provide students with an inclusive program rich with opportunities for hands-on theatrical training.

“In other words, the foundation of the program comes from those working in theatre,” Kevin Lamkins, Associate Professor of English and Interim Theatre Arts Program Coordinator, explains. “The courses are taught by professionals from these companies, giving students direct contact with the people making top-notch theatre right in our community. Internships and practicums will be done through these companies as well to give students the most immersive theatre education in the state.”

Capital Community College and Hartford Stage have enjoyed an existing working relationship stemming from the creation of the Hartford Heritage Project in 2011.  For further reading on the original partnership, check out this article. Over the years, Hartford Stage has partnered with Capital Community College to provide students, many of who are first-time theatergoers, with an ongoing, affordable invitation to attend and delve into professional productions within their Hartford community through One Play.  Several Hartford Stage staff members have also taught theatre courses at Capital, including Intro to Acting and Intro to Theatre. Now, those course offerings will be expanded as part of the new program.

“Working closely with Hartford Stage every semester has been a great experience,” Dr. Jeff Partridge, Humanities Chair, explains. “That relationship matured, and as our relationship with other theatres in Hartford also grew, the idea of creating a theatre arts program in partnership with Hartford theatres seemed like the logical next step. We are thankful for the incredible support we have received from the theatre community in Hartford.”

The degree will equip graduates for a bright future, inside and outside of the arts.

“One of the things we wanted to accomplish with this degree is provide students with a broad range of portable skills that would serve them well in their careers, whether or not they remain in theatre,” said Lamkins. “These include good oral communication and presentation skills, critical thinking and problem solving, the ability to think on your feet, working under pressure or within a strict deadline, collaboration, and many more. Whether in an acting course, stagecraft, or theatre history, students who major in Theatre Arts, or just take a course or two, will learn skills that can be universally applied.”

As the Theatre Arts degree grows, Lamkins is optimistic and hopes to one day see Capital Community College students on staff at partner arts organizations and creating their own work on and off-campus.

Capital Community College Students
Remark on One Play 2017:

“Without the Hartford Stage instructor, I would’ve been lost watching the play. This experience has been life-changing for me. I want to continue to learn more about plays and see more of them in the future.”- Kenithia Matthew

“Having the Hartford Stage teaching artist visit our class was a huge help, as it gave me a background for what the play was about. Without the workshop, I probably wouldn’t have understood a huge portion of it.” – TJ Hensel