Queensborough has been named as one of only eight community colleges out of 189 accredited theatre programs nationwide to receive certification for the Associate in Science Degree by the National Association of Schools of Theatre, the sole accrediting body approved by the Department of Education (DOE).
Queensborough’s theatre program is the only institution in all of CUNY, including its four-year colleges and graduate programs, to be accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre. In addition, Queensborough’s is the only accredited theatre program in a public college in the metropolitan area.
“The high quality of work by our excellent faculty, students and administrators has led to this outstanding accomplishment,” said Georgia McGill, Professor and Chairperson, Speech, Communication and Theatre Arts. “Our student actors, along with the dedicated support of their faculty mentors, have a strong record of being nominated for their superlative performances at prestigious regional and national festivals, and many of our alumni have successful careers in the theatrical field.”
“This is an extraordinary accomplishment,” said Dr. Diane B. Call, President of Queensborough Community College. “The certification is a testament to our leadership in theatre education. We are considered a model in creating a supportive learning environment that encourages students to succeed in becoming performers, technicians, costume designers and directors.”
The theatre program at Queensborough has long been admired for its state-of-the-art facilities and rigorous curriculum, offering students a wide variety of classes, including a substantial number of performance opportunities onstage and backstage. In addition, students experience Off-Broadway and Broadway shows and often attend professional productions featuring the work of their instructors.
Through the years many Queensborough students have participated in the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide which has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States. Additionally, many of Queensborough’s student actors have been nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship, which recognizes outstanding student performers wishing to further their education in the theatre arts.
An external accreditation visit coincided with the 2014 production of the Sophocles play, Electra, directed by Professor McGill. The resulting comments from the visit noted, “The production values for Electra, which was in the Queensborough Performing Arts Theatre, were high and professional. The ensemble was strong.” Additional comments pointed to the high student engagement provided by the theatre arts program: “Queensborough Community College seems to provide significant opportunity for students to engage in the theoretical and practical aspects of producing theatre. By virtue of their location in New York City, QCC has taken advantage of the rich cultural arts experience available in the region and applied those professional standards to their academic curriculum.”
Queensborough has a faculty of professional actors, directors, designers and technicians: Professor Liisa Yonker trained with the Moscow Arts Theatre; Professor C. Julian Jimenez is an award-winning playwright whose play is currently off-Broadway at Intar Theatre; Professor Arthur Adair is a member of the elite La Mama Company; Professor Michael Cesarano frequently performs on Manhattan and regional stages; Professor Allison Crutchfield’s work was recently featured at USiTT and Professor Josh Rothenberg has worked backstage on countless Broadway shows and at the Metropolitan Opera.
Professor McGill’s passion for theatre has won her a Certificate of Merit, KCACTF Region II, Excellence in Direction for Big Love (2015); Director of Jesus Hopped the A Train, which was invited to the KCACTF Region II Festival in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2008). Professor McGill was also honored by CUNY’s Chancellor Matthew Goldstein in the CUNY publication, Salute to Scholars (2008). Professor McGill was awarded the John F. Kennedy Center Gold Medallion for Achievement in Arts Education in 2001. Her work as a director has been featured on stages in New York, Greece, Cyprus, Germany, Scotland, Hungary, and England.