Image: CCBC students rehearsing for “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone”
Within the Department of Performing Arts and Humanities Program at the Community College of Baltimore County, the Theatre Program introduces students to the arts through creativity and performance at the Catonsville and Essex campuses.
All currently enrolled CCBC students are encouraged to participate in theatre by offering open auditions. The college holds five productions a year including previous plays such as A Raisin in the Sun and upcoming shows, which include Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. The college also offers theatre classes, such as Introduction to Theatre, Acting, Play Production, and more.
The degrees offered in this department include an Associates of Arts in Theatre, Fine and Performing Arts and an Associates of Arts in Humanities and Social Sciences.
Cohen Ambrose, a Director, Program Coordinator, and Teacher in the Theatre Department, said there are around a hundred students across the Catonsville and Essex campuses who are currently involved in theatre. He believes this program has benefited the CCBC community.
“The Performing Arts have many amazing benefits: for people to feel heard, to be seen, to be able to tell their stories and be listened to and looked at and watched,” Ambrose said. “I think that element of self- expression and being given a space and being given a voice is really important for everybody, particularly young people. I think the risk of putting yourself out there in front of a group of people is a huge one.”
The department has also currently started becoming more involved in the local deaf community in Maryland and has recently held a production called Mosaic presented by the Quest Visual Theatre. This performance was solely based on expressions, movement, with non-verbal communication.
Ambrose also said that most of the productions held at CCBC have at least two or three students who have never been on the stage before, such as current Freshman and Theatre Major, Broadus Nesbitt III.
Nesbitt, who starred in The Verge as Anthony this past October said, “While most universities have you wait until you’re a junior in college, at CCBC you can be a freshman like me and still get on stage.” He said his passion for acting and the entertainment business led him to get involved in the Theatre Program as soon as he could.
In order to become involved in this program, a student can meet with an academic advisor at any campus who can provide information on what theatre classes are available. A current theatre student at the college and starring in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone on November 1, Ziv Cowans said, “If you are thinking about doing the Theatre Program, start with a class or two and if you like it then audition for plays and see as many productions as you can.”
For those who are not currently enrolled at CCBC, there are still opportunities to watch live theatrical performances at the Dundalk campus. The Dundalk Community Theatre features productions throughout the year that are available to the entire community.
The Performing Arts at the Community College of Baltimore County also offers other forms of art including music and dance. The scholarships in the Theatre Program include the Speech Theatre Scholarship and a Drama Scholarship. If you are interested in becoming involved in acting, dancing, or the performing arts in general, make an appointment to see your academic advisor today or contact Cohen Ambrose or Julie Lewis, who is also the Theatre Department Program Coordinator.