SCTCC Offers New Technical Theatre AA

June 9, 2022

Through a partnership with GREAT (Great River Educational Arts Theatre), SCTCC students have an opportunity to engage in a new pathway for a two-year AA degree in Technical Theatre starting fall semester 2022.

The Technical Theatre Practicum AA is designed to provide students a practicum-based, hands-on, real-world learning opportunity. In this two-year degree program, students will complete the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum at SCTCC as well as build a foundation in technical theatre through practicum experiences with GREAT. This collaborative model between institutions of higher education and community theatre is the only of its kind in Minnesota and one of a handful of programs nationwide.

Exploring the technical disciplines of theatre (scenic, properties, costumes, lighting, sound, stage management) both in the shops of the respective areas as well as during GREAT productions, students will gain insight and experience into the backstage world of theatre arts. By the end of the two-year program, students will demonstrate mastery in one self-selected area of focus prepared to enter the professional theatre/entertainment industry in their specific area of focus.

Kendra Norton Dando, GREAT’s Education Director, and Dr. Hillary Vermillion of SCTCC co-designed this program. “We are thrilled about developing additional paths for students in Central Minnesota to access the arts by exploring careers in the entertainment industry in a real-world context. Partnering with SCTCC to bring this to our community aligns with each of our missions and commitment to education,” said Norton Dando. Dr. Vermillion adds, “Working with both of these organizations for years, I am confident this will be a strong and successful program, and such an asset to our community.”

The career opportunities in the entertainment industry are expansive. Graduates would be qualified to work in a variety of technical positions at venues such as concert arenas, convention centers, amusement parks, cruise lines, hotels/casinos, motion picture studios, and of course theatre. Additionally, students could transfer into any four-year degree program in the Minnesota State system with their AA degree.

“I am excited about the new Technical Theatre Practicum AA program. It opens up another avenue for community members to explore their interest, hone their skills, and pursue careers in the arts, in addition to the Theatre Transfer Pathway SCTCC offers,” said Dr. Emmanuel Awuah, SCTCC Vice President of Academic Affairs. “The strong campus-arts community partnership in support of this new program attests not only to its viability, but also demonstrates the collaboration necessary to sustain it for the long haul.” 

Enrollment for the Technical Theatre Practicum Program is now open. For more information on the program, please visit

As a 501c3 nonprofit organization, GREAT Theatre is known for its Broadway musical performances at the Paramount Center for the Arts, offering a wide range of theatrical productions in the Helgeson Learning Lab Theatre at GREAT, as a leader in youth arts experiences throughout Central Minnesota, and for its commitment to community partnerships. 

Kate Wallace
Posted in News, liberal arts