Performing Arts: New Career Paths Spotlight

A theatre technician stands next to a lighting rig on a stage set.
Jared Libby

There is something so enjoyable about experiencing the splendor of an unforgettable performance or work of art in whatever medium. Here in northern Nevada, we are fortunate to have ample opportunities for careers and lifelong participation in the performing arts. It takes many people to make a movie, television show, or stage play, and when inspiration strikes, a skilled team is invaluable in turning passions and dreams into a successful production.

The Visual and Performing Arts Department in the Liberal Arts Division at TMCC is revitalizing its curriculum to meet the demands and needs of modern careers in the performing arts. Exciting opportunities await TMCC students!

The Liberal Arts Division has a robust offering of courses, and the academic pathways of the Visual and Performing Arts Program are teeming with intriguing prospects and enthusiasm. Artists find their motivation in the most unexpected ways, and TMCC students can find their inspiration and discover new career paths with these fresh academic avenues.

Creativity Takes Courage

TMCC is expanding its educational options by providing leading-edge industry certifications and degrees, instilling in our students the professional knowledge and skills that will prepare them for the expectations of their future workplace. Our latest certificates are a testament to this principle and aim to cultivate skilled individuals in a stimulating environment that never stops moving.

We speak of the brand-new Theatre Tech Skills Certificate. Theatre technicians play a significant role in bringing stories to life on the stage, and they do that through their behind-the-scenes maneuvers. Responsible for creating the sets and props plus running the lighting and sound components of theatrical performances, they are the spark that keeps the show illuminated, resonant, and captivating to the audience's senses.

Natalie Russell, Dean of Liberal Arts, encourages students to enroll in these exciting, inventive programs at TMCC, detailing the benefits of the career avenues available.

“In Theatre Tech, students can sign up for THTR 200 and 204 and have three pathway options - a new 15-credit Theatre Tech Skills Certificate, a 30-credit Certificate of Achievement, and a 60-credit Associate of Arts, Fine Arts [Theatre]," said Russell.

"All of these programs will prepare students with the theoretical knowledge, on-stage experience, and technical production skills they need to be successful in Theatre and other Performing Arts careers,” continued Russell.

Theatre techs are adept at maintaining and repairing stage equipment, assuring its safety for actors and others in the vicinity. They even construct sets, flats, props, and costumes that add the extra flair a production might need, breathing life into this imaginative and interconnected world. Getting lost in the universe of one of these tales is enchanting, and by choosing this pathway, you'll be proud knowing you provided that same sensation for the people viewing your collaborative production.

The Soundtrack of Our Lives

TMCC will also offer musical recording technology courses for enrollment in the Fall Semester.

MUS 231 and MUS 232 will provide an immersive learning experience in the recording studio with analog and digital formats. You will gain firsthand knowledge while studying multi-track techniques and the equipment systems that professionals in this field handle regularly.

Student learning switches on a digital audio workstation.

Student learning switches on a digital audio workstation.

“Music tech students can sign up for current classes [MUS 231, 232, 239, and 240] that will apply to a new 15-credit Music Recording Technology Skill Certificate [2024], as well as the 30-credit Music Certificate of Achievement, and the 60-credit AA Music Degree,” said Russell.

The expansion of innovative classes does not stop there, however, as MUS 239 and MUS 240 invite you to explore virtual studio technology, engaging with state-of-the-art hardware and software through hands-on lessons that teach the fundamentals of sound design. Digital audio workstations place you at the helm, where you can handle keyboard shortcuts, deliver power commands, practice editing, and a range of other prominently advanced features. One of life's greatest pleasures is to resonate with the clarity of a song's lyrics and acoustics as a listener, and sound technicians present us with this gift through the incredible work they do.

“Through interactive training alongside cutting-edge software and equipment, and theoretical study, students will learn about audio recording, how to operate analog and digital equipment, the theory and application of recording systems, and so much more,” said Russell.

The Liberal Arts Division at TMCC is excited to bring these new programs to students to help prepare them for future study in the performing arts or careers in these fields. This advancement exemplifies how TMCC is at the forefront of innovation and works for Nevada and our students.

For more information, please visit the Visual and Performing Arts website, view the Liberal Arts Division catalog, or call 775-673-7090.