Curtain Opens for Collin Theatre Center
I feel that this is the start of a new era of theatre in Plano, said Brad Baker, chair of theatre at Collin College. There is great excitement around here. This is definitely the start of something new.
Over the past 19 years, audiences have grown accustomed to seeing first-rate plays performed by talented local students. Collin College's theatre program has earned national recognition, having been named a national finalist at the American College Theater Festival. Other accolades of the program include four student playwriting awards, one U.S. Professor of the Year, one Kennedy Center Design Fellow and two national Irene Ryan Scholarship finalists, among many others.
Alumni of the program have had successful careers in television, film, radio, theatre and more. Michael Urie, Golden Globe winner from the hit television show Ugly Betty, is an alumnus of Collin College. Other students from the program have transferred to top schools like New York University, The Boston Conservatory, the State University of New York at Purchase and The Juilliard School.
Theatre faculty hope that the new name will serve as recognition of the success and growth of the program.
The growth has been astronomical, Baker said. We've grown in terms of numbers of performances, students and faculty and in terms of public perception. When we started, people just saw us as a community college putting on plays. Today we are one of the leading theatres in the DFW Metroplex that attracts the top directors, designers and performers.
Craig Erickson, director of technical theatre, has witnessed the growth first hand. He has been with the college for nearly 20 years. He looks forward to the coming years under the new name.
I think we are going to continue to expand, he said. I don t see anything slowing down any time soon. We are always looking for ways to stay at the top of our field and to reach out to the community.
The Collin Theatre Center's inaugural year will feature five plays. The season will open with the shoot-em-up satire Flaming Guns of the Purple Sage from Oct. 11-21. Next up is columbinus, a haunting docu-drama exploring the high school shootings in Littleton, Colo., which will run from Oct. 16-21. Both Flaming Guns of the Purple Sage and columbinus are regional premieres. Following that will be a comedy classic, My Three Angels, based on Albert Husson's La Cuisine Des Anges, from Nov. 29-Dec. 9. Then, the spring will kick off with Li'l Abner, a musical comedy based on the comic strip by Al Capp that promises to charm audiences from Feb. 28-March 9, 2008. The season will be complete with Blithe Spirit, a spirited comedy that will run from April 24-May 4, 2008.
Our theatre is accessible to everyone, and there is something for everyone this season. We have family productions and hard-hitting social dramas, classics and contemporary pieces, comedies and musicals, Baker said. In our first year as Collin Theatre Center, we've tried to reach out and provide something for everybody.
For more information on the Collin Theatre Center or the 2007-2008 season, contact the box office at 972.881.5809 or visit www.collin.edu.