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About the Department

Onstage or backstage, students in the CLC Theatre Department have the opportunity to be heavily involved from their first day on campus. There are numerous classes in: performance (acting, directing, children’s theatre, creative dramatics, improvisation) technical theatre and theatre studies (introduction to theatre, stage to screen, theatre history). Students have the opportunity to travel in-state or to New York or to London with travel study courses in The Theatre Experience. What’s learned in the classroom is taken directly to the stage with CLC Theatre’s production program. The theatre serves as a cultural hub for the Brainerd Lakes area, and enjoys a 40+ year tradition of providing year-round theatre entertainment.

Department Information

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts of performance, not limited to these skills: proper stage terminology, basic movement, basic vocal production, and basic script analysis.
  • Make thoughtful performance choices that reflect artistic, practical, and creative considerations.
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the evolution of theatre from ancient Greek through contemporary times.
  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the major historic and contemporary forms of dramatic literature, including representative playwrights and plays.
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of critical standards to be applied to the various elements of theatrical production.


DSC_0015Patrick Spradlin
Patrick Spradlin has been a theatre director and instructor at CLC since 1992. Prior work includes professional, community, and academic theatre in Chicago and surrounding area and southwestern Michigan. He teaches performance classes in acting and directing and courses in history and criticism. Patrick holds an MA in speech communication and MFA in acting from Northern Illinois University. Email Patrick for more information

Student Testimonials


Graduate – Brainerd
In the fall of 1998, I learned a valuable lesson…you can actually love your job and have fun doing it! At CLC, I was able to learn about many aspects of theatre, and as a student and work study employee, I was able to get plenty of hands on experience. I stage managed, built and painted scenery, hung lights, helped with costuming, and I even acted (just once!) I was able to transfer to MN State University, Mankato and pursue costuming where I graduated with a Bachelors of Science. From there, I have been able to travel and freelance, working as close as The Duluth Playhouse, MN and as far away as The Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, FL and Playhouse Merced, CA. I get to make art and share it with others, and I learned at CLC, with hard work, a creative mind and good mentors, you can have a career making that art!


Graduate – Emily
My first role on stage was when I was cast as the lead in “The Taming of the Shrew” as a freshman at Central Lakes College. There was incredible support from all the staff involved, and the friendships I formed as a part of the CLC Theater program remains strong to this day. I went on to receive my BFA in Theater, and while there have been many mentors and teachers along the way, the foundation for all my successes was laid on the stage of the Chalberg. The training offered there is not only educational but holds to high professional standards. I have appeared in over a dozen theatrical productions, award winning films, and countless commercials since graduating from CLC, but the performances I gave there remain among my favorites.


Graduate – Jenkins
CLC Theatre provided me the opportunity to get all the experience I was willing to work for. What I learned in my performance classes during the day could be taken straight to the stage that night in rehearsal. The experience I’ve had with CLC Theatre has been invaluable to my growth as a performing artist.

Employment Statistics

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