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Matthews Playhouse to Launch Technical Theatre Apprenticeship Program in January 2023

New Program Offers Students the Opportunity to Gain Hands-On Experience and Learn the Fundamental Technical Elements of a Theatrical Production.

Since launching nearly 30 years ago, Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts has established a reputation for excellence in theatre education and live performances in the South Charlotte, Mecklenburg, and Union County region. As part of its next phase in educational programming, the Matthews Playhouse School of Theatre has announced it will now provide Technical Theatre instruction for young people in grades 9-12.

The Technical Theatre Apprenticeship program offers students the opportunity to learn the fundamental technical elements of a theatrical production in a positive, supportive environment with Matthews Playhouse Technical Director, Marty Wolff. Through hands-on instruction and mentoring, high school students will gain an understanding of the various disciplines in technical theatre; design, production crew, and shop crew. Students will also explore theatrical design (lights, scenery, props) while learning commonplace tasks of working backstage.

Matthews Playhouse Education Director, Stefanie Nicholson says she wants to open up more opportunities for young people to work behind the scenes for the annual School of Theatre Productions that take place in each spring. “The ultimate goal is to give young people the skills and the confidence to fill essential roles on the production team,” she says. “We would like to see our students gain experience as stage managers, designers, set builders, backstage crew members and more.”

Matthews Playhouse Executive Director, Sarah Baumgardner says “Technical theatre professionals are the unsung heroes of every live production, whether it’s a play, a concert, or a dance recital,” she says. “Behind every great performance is an outstanding production team.”

The Matthews Playhouse Technical Theatre Apprenticeships will meet from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Wednesday evenings starting January 11, 2022 through February 8, 2023. Students will build on skills learned each week and will have the option to participate in select upcoming productions to gain additional hands-on experience behind the scenes. There is an instruction fee of $125.00, need-based scholarships are available for qualifying students.

About the Instructor

Marty Wolff is a former high school theatre teacher and college professor at Winthrop University. Marty earned his Masters in Fine Arts in the area of Scenic Design from the University of Nebraska in the spring of 2021 after nearly two decades of theatrical experience. He specializes in theatrical design, technology, carpentry and education. As a teacher at heart, Marty loves to share his process with young theatrical up-and-comers and build them toward becoming the next shining stars in our profession.

About Matthews Playhouse

Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts is a community based non-profit theatre committed to enriching the lives of children, adults, and families by inviting them to participate

in the world of performing arts and education. We commit to this mission by ensuring the excellence of our cultural programs for the participation and enjoyment of the people in our community.


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