The ACC Drama Department has educated and entertained Austin for over three decades. The journey began in August 1981, when Dr. Charles Hill was hired to chair the newly-created ACC Speech and Drama Department. Working with a dedicated group of adjunct faculty, Dr. Hill created a Drama curriculum that included courses in Introduction to Theatre, Acting, Voice and Diction, Stage Makeup, Stagecraft, and Production. Alongside this curriculum, the Drama faculty developed, produced, and maintained a full production schedule in the Gallery Theatre. In 1993, the department expanded the annual season to include shows offered in the newly renovated Mainstage Theater. Thirty four years later, the department continues its mission to provide professional theater training in the heart of Austin.
The Drama program seeks to provide students with the opportunity to achieve an Associate of Arts Degree. This degree is compatible with and comparable to the first two years of Drama education at other universities and colleges. The Associates degree is one of the many degrees included in college-wide articulation agreements with public 4-year schools in Texas. Our mission is also to prepare students for industry jobs through real experiences on and off stage, and to establish competency in voice, movement, improvisation, scene work, audition techniques, production work, stage craft, critical analysis, arts administration, and theater history.
Our professionally active faculty, staff members, and student production assistants administer the Department’s curriculum, and support its season of productions. The program serves 450-500 students each semester through a variety of course offerings in Technical Theater, Performance, Production, and Dramatic Literature. While the program is currently based at the Rio Grande Campus, it offers classes at four other campuses.
The Department’s production work has garnered local critical acclaim including Austin Critics Table awards in Directing and Acting, along with Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and B. Iden Payne Nominations in design and ensemble performance. The Department regularly cooperates with community organizations such as Austin Shakespeare, Tongue and Groove Theater Company, Present Company, Theater En Bloc, The ProArts Collective, The Long Center, Women in Film, Austin Playhouse, Spectrum Theater Company, and the George Washington Carver Museum to engage
students with the wider creative sector.
In Fall of 2017, the ACC Drama Department will have a new home at the Highland Campus location.