In a new light, a new stage and a new perspective, students at Mesa Community College can have the chance to experience theater in an exciting way through the theater department’s screenings of National Theatre Live’s productions this fall at MCC Theatre on the main Southern Avenue and Dobson Road campus. National Theatre Live, an organization established in 2009 based in England, films live stage theater productions and broadcasts them internationally.
Since 2016, MCC has screened over 12 of National Theatre Live’s productions throughout the fall and spring semesters, including “Frankenstein,” and “Hamlet,” with Benedict Cumberbatch and “No Man’s Land” with Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen.
“Our theater and film arts department faculty had some connections with the Royal National Theatre in Great Britain, and they learned of their NT Live Series,” said Christopher Tubilewicz, venue manager at MCC Theatre. “Which in a nutshell, they artistically film their theatrical productions and broadcast them out to international venues.”
MCC’s main campus is a venue for NT Live and broadcasts the Almost Live series, where MCC downloads the live productions that were filmed earlier in the year, and screens them in the fall semester to coordinate with their academic programming.
“In our department, we very much try to show the essential link between live stage theater and film, whether it’s performance, design, production techniques, how there is crossover between the two,” Tubilewicz said. “In a lot of these National Theatre Live shows, you’re getting predominantly film actors that still hone and apply their craft in live stage theatrical productions.”
Tubilewicz said students get to see the actors in a wide stage production, where they’ve probably only seen them in film productions before, and observe how the skills they learned apply from stage to film and vice versa.
“It’s something we’re excited to be able to offer to the students and see production techniques and a level of spectacle, that at a community college or even a university level you’re not going to get because you’re frankly not spending that kind money on the show,” Tubilewicz said.
“They get to see a lot of tricks of the trade that we might not otherwise be able to apply to a production…this lets us expose them to more theater.”
In addition to MCC, the National Theatre Live productions are screened in other places in the state including the Phoenix Art Museum and in Sedona and Prescott theaters.
The fall semester schedule for National Theatre Live Broadcast screenings at MCC is:
- “Angels in America-Part 1, Millennium Approaches,” starring Andrew Garfield on Sept. 1.
- “Angels in America-Part 2, Perestroika” on Sept. 8.
- “Obsession,” starring Jude Law on Oct. 20.
- “Twelfth Night,” starring Tamsin Greig on Oct. 27.
- “Salome” on Nov. 3.
- “Peter Pan” on Dec. 15.
Tubilewicz said he thinks the diversity of the NT Live productions helps MCC further develop the well-rounded approach to give students a larger understanding and appreciation of various types of performance.
“NT Live has so many different productions to choose from to expose the students to all different types of theater from all different eras, countries, and subject matter,” said Tubilewicz. “Our hope at least is for them to have a better understanding and better respect for all different types of theater as they come forward.”
The screenings are open to the public, MCC students and faculty from 7:30-10 p.m. at MCC Theatre, 1833 W. Southern Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets for MCC students, staff and seniors are $9; general public, $15.
To learn more about Mesa Community College’s National Theatre Live screenings, visit: Mesacc.edu/arts.
– Mesa resident Alyssa Tufts is a reporter for MyNewsMesa.com.