Commonwealth Journal

Columns

November 27, 2013

Theatre program should remain a part of SCC

(Continued)

But here in Somerset? Really, it’s SCC carrying the torch. Under Cleberg’s direction over the last few decades, local audiences have been treated to some of the greats: “Godspell.” “Harvey.” “Arsenic and Old Lace.” “School for Scandal.” The list goes on and on. 
Cleberg’s own creation, “Radio Suspense Theatre,” has grown beyond the walls of Stoner Little Theatre on the SCC campus, where audiences enjoyed several installments of the slice of old-timey radio life over the years, and is now being staged by other groups around the country. SCC Theatre has made its mark not just locally, but beyond the borders of the Commonwealth.
SCC’s Digital Video Productions program has allowed the school to make both short and feature-length films, expanding the range of the student thespians. In recent years, the annual “Sketches!” collection of comic vignettes has become a crowd favorite, sort of the local answer to “Saturday Night Live.” 
Perhaps the best thing about SCC Theatre, however, is its Community Theatre, and the open embrace it offers to any budding acting talent in the greater Lake Cumberland area, not just those enrolled in the school.
For years, the plays have featured adults — many of them teachers, lawyers, professionals, your next-door neighbors — who have been bitten by the acting bug and want to participate. The mixture they form with the talented youth under Cleberg’s instruction is never anything less than perfect chemistry. It also provides an open door for students yet to enter college to take a close-up look at what the school offers.
In “Spoon River,” we had two high schoolers — one from Southwestern, one from Wayne County — and both of them blew me away. I was no less impressed by the familiar SCC Theatre vets or the current students, but I expected them to be good — but the fact that even the youngest among us delivered so powerfully is a testament to SCC Theatre’s reputation and the kind of person it attracts.

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