• Scene from GREAT EXPECTATIONS. Photo Credit: Kenji Kang
  • Scene from EL NOGALAR. Photo Credit: Kenji Kang
  • Scene from WTF
  • Scene from AS YOU LIKE IT. Photo Credit: Kenji Kang
  • Scene from ANGELS IN AMERICA
  • Scene from FABULATION OR,THE RE-EDUCATION OF UNDINE. Photo Credit: Kenji Kang
  • Scene from IN THE HEIGHTS. Photo credit: Anneka Bunnag

Experiential Learning at the Valley Performing Arts Center

December 3, 2012

Video Transcript

(music plays)
It's been called an instant cultural icon, a dream fulfilled for the San Fernando Valley. The Valley Performing Arts Center presents world-class performing artists. Behind the scenes, the 166,000-square-foot complex at California State University, Northridge features extensive new facilities designed for experiential learning. The rehearsal studio, with its wall of glass opening onto the central courtyard, doubles as an open-air performance venue.


Four theatre laboratories offer students state-of-the-art equipment and training in costume, set, lighting, and design. Energy efficiency is a top priority throughout the green building, which has earned a LEED Gold certification. The dressing rooms used by students are spacious and modern, filled with natural light. Rather than focusing on a single specialty, all theatre majors take a mix of courses that combine acting and directing with history, design, and technical skills. The 178-seat Experimental Theatre serves both the campus and the surrounding community. A dynamic program of evening performances for the public and matinees for school groups entertains and educates audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

ACTOR: "Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull, or-- (inaudible)

Twenty-five feet above the stage, a woven-steel grid enables students to position lights and hang scenery without using ladders, greatly reducing the risk of accident. The new facilities are on a par with some of the top professional theaters in the country, giving Cal State Northridge graduates a future advantage in the job market. In the Sherry and Albert Lapides Costume Lab, every student has access to a brand-new sewing machine and other tools to express their creative vision.

The university's multidisciplinary theatre program emphasizes imagination, discipline, and collaboration, and teaches lifelong skills in creative problem-solving, effective teamwork, and interpersonal communications. Now, thanks to new facilities inside the Valley Performing Arts Center--made possible by a combination of public funds and private philanthropic support--hundreds of emerging professionals benefit from an unparalleled environment for creative, hands-on learning.