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BCC Theater: All the drama stays on stage
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Barton Community College Theater Director Erin Renard talks to students Wednesday on stage in the BCC Fine Arts Auditorium. - photo by photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Barton Community College Theater Director Erin Renard welcomed students to campus Wednesday with an open house in the renovated Fine Arts Auditorium.
The department offers eight different courses and several productions over the course of the year. Students and other community members can audition for the two-act drama “Going to See the Elephant” at 5:30 p.m. next Monday, Aug. 24. Performance dates are Oct. 1-3.
Students don’t have to be theater majors to take Renard’s classes, but they do need to maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average and to meet other expectations to be in the productions. Renard told them they should arrive 15 minutes before any scheduled rehearsal. “If you arrive at rehearsal time, you are late.” And they should come prepared.
Even though the students will be acting, the instructor warned, there’s no acting out. “All drama will remain on stage,” she said. Acting is like any other class, with homework and grades.
Students also met Leon Sobba, Jacob Disque, Grady Bolding and Ashley Sheldon, four people who are behind the scenes assisting with technical direction, lights, sounds and other production needs. All have been involved in BCC productions for several years.
Sobba reminded students that even if they are actors, not all of their work will take place on stage. For “Going to See the Elephant,” the they will be carving sets from Styrofoam.
Sobba said his theory is that actors should be involved in all aspects of theater. Students may be called on to pick up a paint brush, or a broom, as needed.
Renard agreed: “This is a no-diva zone,” she said.