Lights, Camera, Action

ECC hosts many theater and musical performances, many of which feature student performers.


lance lagoni

ECC hosts several theater and musical shows that students can perform in each year. The photo above is from “Antigone," which ran from April 26-May 5.

Breyana Perry, Staff Writer

Have you ever been to a performance at Elgin Community College and wondered how do they book these acts? Or what’s it like to be in one of the plays? Or how to get involved in something like theater?

Steven Duchrow, the Director of Performing Arts at ECC, has a process that he uses when booking visiting artist to try to find art that transfers what people think as well as the artist being at a high level.

“I receive about 50 emails for artists that want to be booked,” Duchrow said. “Which means that a lot of people are available, but a lot of artists are looking for work.”

There are 13 performance assembles every year at ECC. 

For students who are interested in something like theater but are not interested in trying out for an actual play, Duchrow said there are programs for students to enroll in to and they can get credit for it. 

“Students get to express their creativity on a smaller stage and are able to bring a live band for their performance,” Duchrow said. “And if they choose to audition for a musical play, they don’t have to worry about getting a live band.”

Duchrow encourages students to attend these performances, too, because of their value beyond just entertainment. 

“You can trust us. If you come, not only will you enjoy yourself, but it will change the way you see the world,” Duchrow said. “Do art differently. For you to understand come to a show.”

For ECC student Electa Gibbs, who was in “Blood at the Root” last November, balancing school and play rehearsal starts with the mind. 

“Despite all the distractions that was placed purposely to knock me off, I was determined in life itself,” Gibbs said. “Never let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do.” 

Gibbs feels as though high school student plays are more meant to entertain people but college student plays are meant to both entertain and bring forth a message to the audience.

For fellow ECC actor Angela Smith, performing is something she’s very passionate about. Being in the plays at school is a different feeling and has her more confident and getting out of her safe bubble.

“Being in theater it brings out the creative activity,” Smith said. “It melts away the barriers that were built and brings you closer with people who you never thought you would possibly talk to.”

Getting people to attend the shows isn’t always easy people don’t always want to read the flyers or scroll past the post.

“The most important part is constantly trying even if there are some people that won’t attend there’s a chance there will be a person who sees the flyer and decides to come,” Smith said. “Its all about marketing and finding the right way to appeal to who you’re asking to come.” 

When Smith auditioned for a play, she wasn’t sure about doing it and if it was going to be for her but she’s glad she did. It’s a fun new hobby for her to do and even when she’s not in the plays she still enjoys going to go see them.

“For those that want to try something new and step out their comfort zone,” Smith said. “My advice is to do it, you might find a new hobby that you can love or find something that brings you closer to doing what you love and that makes you happy. But you’ll never know unless you try.”