Theater alone encapsulates so many raw emotions, but as an educational course, it is able to provide long lasting impressions. 

(Featured photo: OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center Theater interior – Courtesy Photo)

The presence of art is often imitated by the experiences and knowledge of the world around us, and that symbolizes the theater program at Oklahoma City Community College. 

With the help of Don Russell, a professor of theater arts at OCCC, alongside his bright and bold casts, are creating something extraordinary that cannot be unnoticed. 

The program has blossomed on behalf of students.

“Their positive attitude, always wanting to be around and always wanting to do stuff,” Russell said.

Having such a presence embedded in their character enclosed in these environments serves as an important function where creativity and risk run rampant on stage. 

Don Russell – Professor of Theater Arts (Courtesy Photo).

Theater alone stands alone as ambiguous and has the ability to represent itself in any way that it pleases. Not only are the performers expressing their voices on stage, or the creative vision of the director, but the audience has the opportunity to soak it all in and enjoy it for what it is, art in its purest form. 

One local student, Shianne McCarty, had the pleasure of watching one of the performances by Russell’s team. 

“It was so good. Everything about it. You could really tell how much effort they put into their passion,” McCarty said.  

Emphasizing the amount of work that adds up to the crafting and showcasing their performance that delights the eyes of our OCCC community.  

Having an institution and faculty that cares and nurtures their students in an encouraging environment makes the whole process that much easier to learn. 

Shianne McCarty (Courtesy Photo).

Russell is one to treasure an individual’s potential and advocates for one’s perseverance. 

“I want them to be able to create their own work rather than searching necessarily,” Russell with a sense of urgency, proudly stated 

“I want them to be versatile. I want them to leave capable of entering into the professional theater world or semi professional theatre world without necessarily needing the transfer but if they do transfer, I want them to be equipped to not only match the skill sets of grad students at four-year universities but possibly be beyond what they’ve experienced.”  

And with a workforce that is increasing at 2.04%, according to DATAUSA, the call for learning means that much. This is especially true in an industry where individualism is prone to be displayed. Taking a stride towards your career will feel as seamless as possible with all the tools available for students. 

Theater alone encapsulates so many raw emotions, but as an educational course, it is able to provide long lasting impressions. 

For example, Appalachian State University’s Department of Theater and Dance remarks that “oral communication” and “creative problem-solving abilities” come with being in theater. Skills that are demanded fiercely In the real world and will reside inside each person to prepare them 

In completing such a difficult yet imperative task, Russell is keen on extending theater to a more diverse selection. 

“We’re working to make sure that not only do we have different genres of theater in order to get a large breadth of styles and cultural style,” Russell said. 

He said that will ultimately  gather more students, rounding up the community and accelerating the culture of theater to be more welcoming for all. 

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