by Collin Ho Kumamoto
The Theater Arts Department on ELAC Campus is responsible for hosting different showcases year round and is, for the most part, run by theater students. Students are responsible for building and designing props for each show.
The Theater Department opens their auditions to all students across campus, however having experience is always encouraged. The Theater Department takes pride in the connections that are developed between students and those in the theater industry. The department hopes for all of those who take part in productions to explore their creative capabilities and help them create a foundation for their life in art.
The Theater Department does it’s best to emulate professional theater early on for their students. Students are often cast in a show within their first semester at ELAC. This can be stressful for them because theater is a very demanding program. Hours upon hours of work are put into a production.
Each prop and setting is carefully put together and each scene is rehearsed until it is presentable on stage. During preparation for a showcase, students build professionalism and the work ethic necessary to succeed in their careers in the arts.
Students have the privilege of taking part in Guest Artist Workshops where professionals come to help students improve their production and acting skills. Some production skills that students learn include lighting, sound, and operating construction equipment.
The Theater Department at ELAC has close connections with the theater programs at Cal State Long Beach and the University of South Dakota. This opens a door for students to continue their education in theater at a four year university.
Some students receive the privilege of getting a paid internship with companies such as the Philadelphia Theatre Company, the Black Hills Playhouse, and the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts. These internships in turn lead to better job opportunities and more experience for students.
The Department Chair, Kaz Kasnetsis, is admired by many of his colleagues. Natalie Wong, the theater manager, describes Kasnetsis as a someone who guides the department confidently and efficiently. Wong also stated that whenever a dilemma arises, that Kasnetsis always comes up with a solution by thinking out of the box.
Kasnetsis obtained his Masters in Theater Arts and has been the department chair for approximately ten years. Kasnetsis and the rest of the department are currently organizing a tour of London. Students will receive an enriching educational experience in a place where art and theater truly flourished.
The Theater Department’s next show, Tartuffe directed by James Buglewicz, will take place from December 2 to December 11 at the Proscenium Theatre. The next shows that will take place in 2017 are Metamorphosis, The Accrington Pals, and Little Shop of Horrors.
The Theater Department also hosted auditions to take part in Little Shop of Horrors on November 11 from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. at the P2 Building. All ELAC students are more than welcome to come and audition for a part of the show that will take place from May 19 to May 28. This production will be directed by Will Pellegrini and will be held at the Proscenium Theatre.