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History of the  Theater Department at LVA

Front+of+Lowden.+Image+from+video+by+Kyra+Neely+and+Lauren+Gomez+.
Front of Lowden. Image from video by Kyra Neely and Lauren Gomez .

The Theater Department at Las Vegas Academy of Art has been around since 1993 when the school was established as a magnet art school. Although it’s one of LVA’s original departments, it has evolved over time to improve the student’s experiences and education. The department has always wanted to have students experience theater at a professional level.

I know the theater department has always striven to have a level of production and professionalism that rivals everyday professional theater, not just high school theater, to be that step above what a student would get at a traditional high school,” said Brooke Bergquist an English teacher at LVA who is an alumnus who graduated as a theater major in 2013. 

Ms. Brooke Bergquist looking thoughtful as she contemplates a question in K12. (Michelle Yeboah)

The theater department’s goal has always been to give students as close to a real-world theater experience as possible

To see the level of productions that they are putting, on the outside workshops that they’ve been able to do, the fact that Lin Manuel Miranda came and spoke to our kids… I think that the theater department is doing a lot of good in helping these students grow and love and learn about theater,” Bergquist said.

Although the department is in good shape right now it wasn’t always like this as throughout its long history, the department has had its struggles. Staffing issues from 2009 to 2010 caused students to grow concerned about the future and quality of the theater program.

At the end of my sophomore year, one of our theater teachers quit. And in the middle of my junior year, another one of our theater teachers had to leave because he was sick. And there were only three theater teachers, leaving us with a permanent substitute,” Bergquist said.

The outcome of this issue caused students to feel as if they were learning new materials as they went by rather than having everything already planned out for them.

“it always felt like we were building the plane as we were flying it rather than having this sound machine it felt like LVA had before,” Bergquist said.

Despite the occasional struggle, the department continues to improve.

There were definitely some issues before I got here, but since I’ve been at LVA, I’ve seen nothing but awesome growth from the theater department,” said Marisa McCoy, a theater teacher and department instructional leader.

Ms. Marissa McCoy smiling in Vocational after being interviewed. (Michelle Yeboah)

Currently, the department is preparing for the opening of Puffs on February 15. To buy tickets, go to the LVA website box office.

To see the multiple theater venues on LVA’s campus, click here.

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Samantha Perez-Luna, a freshman Multimedia Communications major at Las Vegas Academy of the Arts enjoys drawing. Through her work, she hopes to gain more experience in multimedia.
Michelle Yeboah, a freshman Multimedia major at Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, is passionate about learning new things. Through her work, she hopes to gain better skills.
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