April 19, 2011


NACC Theatre Prepares Students for the Future

People may ask what else happens in the theatre department at Northeast Alabama Community College besides plays. “In addition to providing an opportunity for the community to see extravagant Broadway style productions at affordable prices, we have a responsibility to train our students for their futures no matter what career path they choose,” said Regan McClung, Theatre Office Manager. “We are not just a college or community theatre; we are a learning theatre. As a part of that learning process, we provide many opportunities during the year to prepare students. We provide a summer workshop for students which allows 40 students to experience theatre for one week in our facilities, but we wanted to reach out to the community even more, particularly our area schools.”

To that end a new program was developed in hopes to prepare NACC students by having them prepare other students. The “Connecting through the Performing Arts” program is service learning at its best. Twelve of the drama scholarship students wrote, directed, and performed a shortened version of The Wizard of Oz. Then, with the help of Susan Barron, Director of High School and College Relations, they were able to perform not only the abridged Wizard, but also an entire FREE 50-minute presentation on the opportunities available in the arts for several of the area schools. The students visited eight schools in the area (North Sand Mountain, Cedar Bluff, Plainview, Pisgah, Richard Hardy Memorial, Skyline, Fort Payne, and Geraldine) and presented the program to over 700 area juniors. In addition to the sketch, the students prepared a multi-media presentation on acting and non-acting opportunities in the theatre. However, the highlight of the presentation at every school was the hands-on improvisation technique that involved the high school students in their own performance.

“At NACC theatre we believe in the power of ALL extracurricular activities that give students options for belonging and furthering their social fulfillment,” continued McClung. “We know that all students are different. Different needs require different measures. Arts are one additional tool that can be used to reach youth who may otherwise not have an outlet for extracurricular activities. We want to thank the area schools’ administrations and faculties and particularly their students for being such willing supporters of the arts. We would also like to thank NACC President Dr. David Campbell, who generously supports arts education at NACC and in our area. Without the support of Dr. Campbell, our outreach programs would not be possible.”

For more information about the NACC Theatre, go to  and click on “Theatre” or phone NACC ext. 218.

Participating in the school outreach program were (L-R) Paige Dobson of Geraldine, Zach Moore of Pisgah (Student Playwright), Cody Brown of Sylvania, Laura Spears of Sylvania, Taylor Downey of Fort Payne, and Garan Tinsley of Collinsville. Not pictured are Jarrod Blackwell of North Sand Mountain (Student Technician), Karlie Saint of North Sand Mountain, Orey Yates of Dade County, Ryan Dobbs of Dade County, Clint McCrary of Scottsboro, and Brenna Clark of Collinsville (Student Director).