Theater director selected to guide NECCA's ProTrack end-of-year performance

Colleen Harris brings 'depth of expertise in devised theater'

BRATTLEBORO — After a wide-ranging search, Colleen Harris has been selected to direct the graduating students in the ProTrack Training Program's end-of-year performance at the New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA).

This contemporary circus performance is the final Capstone Project for professionally ready students attending the three-year professional program at NECCA.

NECCA Cofounder Serenity Smith Forchion said in a news release that Harris's extensive directorial experience in theater, along with a connection to contemporary circus, made her “an ideal directorial choice.”

“She brings a depth of expertise in devised theater that we found nourishing and inspiring,” Forchion said. “She spoke about drawing the story from the players through very creative, yet organized, methods.”

Harris earned an master's degree in acting from the American Conservatory Theater and a bachelor's degree in theater performances with an associate degree in English literature from University of Evansville.

As an adjunct professor, she has taught history and practice of theater and fundamentals of acting at the University of Maryland and SP Escola de Teatro in São Paulo, Brazil.

Harris moved to Brattleboro during the pandemic, giving her the opportunity to work with ProTrack students in person to develop the show while maintaining COVID-19 safety protocols.

“We are having to be agile about how we present the show, needing alternatives for staging and presenting - video or outdoor - in addition to a typical indoor staged version,” says Forchion.

These aspiring circus artists embrace innovation and daring at the intersection of circus, theater, and dance. Their elite acrobatic and aerial training, alongside movement and physical theater, allows for a deeper capacity for creativity within circus arts, she added.

NECCA anticipates that a filmed version of the show will be made available to the public via a streaming service in May.

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