The Yavapai College Performing Arts Department is putting mortar and muscle behind its reputation as a Musical Theatre powerhouse, with a scene shop in construction on the Prescott Campus and a new Technical Theatre Certificate Program set to commence this Fall.

"Once we began directing large-scale musicals, we realized that we needed an expert in tech to help us achieve our vision and goals." Dr. Craig Ralston, YCPAC Associate Dean of Performing Arts, said. "We also saw the need to begin a tech theater certificate that could be taught in high schools, since local schools had large enrollments in their tech theater classes. The administration committed to building a new tech theater space. We just finished our search for a new tech theater faculty/staff member and the curriculum will be launched this fall."

Recent productions, such as its critically acclaimed The Phantom of the Opera (2019), Beauty & The Beast (2018) and Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods (2017) have established YC’s Performing Arts Department as a program capable of building, and staging, large-scale musicals. The new facility and certificate program looks to build on those assets.

The Technical Theatre Certificate Program, a two-year, 16-credit program, is designed to give aspiring designers, carpenters and stage crew members the fullest possible exposure to every creative aspect of a stage production. Students will gain hands-on experience working as technicians and running crew on YCPAC productions, while taking classes that include "Theatre Sets & Prop Building," "Lighting for Stage & Media," "Theatre Rigging & Safety" and "Costuming, Hair & Makeup." The program turns the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, the county’s largest auditorium with a wide proscenium ideal for musicals, into a learning lab for student technicians.

"Working in YC’s 1,100-seat Performing Arts Center is one of our biggest strengths," YC Musical Theatre Professor Nanette Hofer explained. "We offer students the ability to work in a large theatrical facility with state-of-the-art light and sound equipment and a full rigging system, which is rare at the community college-level. It’s a huge step in preparing our students to work in the professional world of theatrical venues."

The Technical Theatre Certificate’s 16-week classes will be held on Friday nights and Saturdays, to better accommodate the schedules of working students. It will give them the chance to explore every creative discipline of theatrical production, beginning in Fall 2021.

Technical expertise requires a certain level of infrastructure to properly develop. So, this spring, YCPAC broke ground on a new scene shop. The 2,500 square-foot facility, under construction on the west side of the Performing Arts Center, will feature design, construction, classroom and storage space to train the next generation of theatrical artisans. The building is scheduled for completion at the end of July.

This Fall, Yavapai College is offering students a unique opportunity. Students enrolled or registered for credited classes are eligible for a free class of up to three credits or a maximum value of $285. The offer is part of a $2.3 Million CRRSAA Act disbursement that the College is distributing to students who have incurred expenses caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. For more information on the offer, please visit:

Yavapai College will begin its Fall semester in Phase Green of its five-phase COVID-19 Return to Campus plan, allowing for classes on-campus, with face coverings and social distancing measures required.

Registration is for Yavapai College’s Fall 2021 semester is already underway, with classes commencing Monday, August 16. For a complete list of available courses or registration information, please call: (928) 717.7777