A new partnership has developed on Queens soil, as the Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte has moved into Hadley Theater to become the resident theater company of Queens University of Charlotte. A five-year agreement has been set, and the new partnership is planned to not only serve the professional theater company, but also give the Queens community exciting new opportunities.
After losing their long-term location along Freedom Drive, Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte (ATC) had to search for a new home. With several possible candidates, the theatre finally decided on Queens, due to the facilities the theater could provide.
Martin Kettling, the general manager for ATC and an adjunct theater professor at Queens, shared his positive thoughts about the merge. “I hope it will turn out to be a true partnership of community of Queens and the theater,” he said.
The newly developed agreement primarily gives ATC the opportunity of producing and performing its complete offering of programs from the Queens location. As part of the agreement, ATC will also provide help to Queens students, Kettling shared — for instance by offering internships, help with the yearly Queens Theater production, and maybe in the future, by offering acting classes.
Queens student Joi Pride, who previously had an internship with ATC, is thrilled with the new collaboration. Looking back at her own internship, she shared that the experience taught her a lot about both acting and how the theater world works.
“It was such a great opportunity to work with some of the best theatre professionals in the area,” Pride said. “It gave me a glimpse of what working in theatre can look like on the professional level.”
As for now, Queens does not offer a major in acting. A big wish for Pride is that the collaboration between ATC and Queens can help spark the interest in acting among Queens students, and in the future, help bring back the acting major to the schools program.
“I hope that it’d put Queens Theatre back into more official things,” she stated. “By this, I mean bringing back an official program with faculty, and adding Theatre back to the name of the Department of Art, Design, and Music.”
Even though the new partnership primarily has brought interest to those interested in acting and theater, a wider interest among Queens students is expected to rise. The company will not only offer internships for theater performance students, but a variety of major programs, Kettling revealed.
“Graphic design, marketing, business, physical creation, selling, and general management is only a few of the fields where ATC can offer internships for students,” said Kettling.
Additionally, the ATC will offer a coupon for 50% off tickets for members of the Queens Community. The offer will last for at least the next year.
A new and exciting time is waiting for both the Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte and Queens University. Kettling does not tempter his expectations of what this new partnership can mean for both parties.
“I believe the new partnership can make acting stronger and Queens stronger as more of a destination community here in Charlotte,” he said. “I think this will bring forward the best representation of what this campus can produce.”