quinebaug valley community college

Performing Arts

For more information contact:

Brian Kaufman
Lead Faculty
Professor of English

Globe Theater, London
Globe Theater, London

You can get a taste of the performing arts at QVCC!

QVCC is exploring the possibility of creating a performing arts major and with an eye towards this, QVCC is pleased to offer two guitar classes in the fall 2020 semester — all from the comfort of your own living room.


Rock the Guitar this Fall!

Guitar I and Guitar II:  Two courses that provide a basic foundation in guitar playing and musicianship. Guitar I is for students with no previous experience in the guitar or general music.  Literacy in guitar notation and tab reading, and an accurate sense of rhythm is developed.  Also established are skills in strumming chords and playing melodies for folk, rock, pop, surf music, and ensemble playing. Guitar II is for students who have some experience with the guitar, know a few chords, and feel ready to increase their knowledge.  It’s a great time to pick up an instrument and start playing — or time to get better at wielding the “axe.”  Many people started playing this year during quarantine – it’s a fun and never too late to pick-up the guitar.   So grab a guitar and join in!  Instructor: Chris Monti.

Preview of Coming Attractions …
Get up and Dance!

Movement as Creative Expression:  This course looks at creativity and the connection to habit.  We will utilize movement as our main medium for exploration.  Movement as Creative Expression is a studio course that explores the elements of dance, such as, improvisation, classical and contemporary technique, choreography/composition, and performance.  Students will engage with technical dance genres, dance making, performance critique, and collaborative projects.  This course allows for complete immersion into movement and creative making.   This course is appropriate for all levels of movers.  Instructor: Nichola Johnson.

Tap Dance:  Tap is a percussive form of dance utilizing time, weight, coordination, speed, and rhythm.  Students will gain an awareness of tap dance; it’s origins, impact, and evolution.  The class will consist of learning technical tap dance steps, counting systems, body placement, and rudiments.  This class will also outline the historic/cultural influences that continue to shape the vocabulary of tap dance.  And it’s a fun way to get a good workout.  Instructor: Nichola Johnson.

Improvisation:   The art of improv  or “Yes, and” is a dramatic performing art based on theatrical games where performers create scenes and characters on the spot.  Employed by business leaders and professionals in all industries, improv training sharpens the mind and conversational abilities of all students.  It’s a must for every college student looking to standout. Improv training helps shy people learn to socialize, and helps people looking to be more conversational and outgoing tap their creative and comedic impulses. Using the techniques developed by The Second City, Upright Citizens Brigade, and IO (Improv Olympics), QVCC offers this online course for all students, including those new to improvisation as well as those familiar with establishing support, trust, initiation, agreement, and the other tools used by skillful improvisers like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and the regulars on SNL and Whose Line is It, Anyway?  Instructor: Tom Epstein.

Performing Arts Instructors

picture of Nichola JohnsonNichola Johnson is a Movement Artist, Choreographer, Director, Arts Administrator, Educator and holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College, VT.  Johnson’s approach to education empowers the student to master technical elements and develop a rich personal voice.  Nichola is the Founder/Director of The Complex Performing and Creative Arts Centre in Northeastern CT and serves on the faculties of many high school and college Performing Arts Departments.  Nichola has written, directed, produced, and choreographed numerous productions and her work can be found in musical theatre, conceptual modern dance, site-specific work, devised and experimental performance, and ballets.  Nichola’s classes are supportive, inspiring, and progressive; giving learners the tools and space to flourish and richly develop their creative practice.

picture of Chris MontiChris Monti has been teaching guitar and playing music professionally for over 15 years. His eclectic style reveals his passion for rock & roll, country-blues, early jazz, R+B, as well as music from the Americas, Middle East, India, and North & West Africa.  Singing and playing electric guitar and harmonica in several bands, he leads The Chris Monti Band (featuring Theo Regan on bass and Michael Lewis on drums) playing an upbeat mix of original dance music along with West African and Caribbean songs. As a member of The Devilfish, a high energy, power trio dance band, he plays covers of great Rock, Surf, Mambo, Cumbia, Punk, Blues, Boogie, R+B, Latin Pop and Country Songs.  Chris draws on that wide body of music for his classes and his engaging teaching style making learning the guitar fun and interactive.

picture of Tom EpsteinTom Epstein trained at Upright Citizens Brigade in New York, is a house-team performer, coach, and instructor at Providence Improv Guild, and a professional actor and educator with degrees from Emerson College.  Tom is a seasoned improvisor and coach of many skilled improvisors in New York, Boston, and Providence.