*VIDEO* Southeast Region Unveils New Performing Arts Center During Groundbreaking Ceremony
SOUTH EASTON — Superintendent Luis Lopes and Principal Leslie Weckesser are pleased to announce the completion of construction and the grand opening of the new Southeastern Performing Arts Center (SPAC).
The Southeast Region hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony with many special guests and community members in attendance on Friday, February 4 to celebrate the newly completed space.
Southeastern Regional School Committee Chairman Tony Branch delivered welcoming remarks.
“As a member of the school committee and as a resident of Brockton, I feel it is an honor to be associated with this great performance center. I understand this because of the rich culture that represents not only entertainment, but also the inspiration and uplifting power of the performing arts,” said President Branch.
Many Southeast staff and students, administrators, school committee members, building committee members, contractors and local officials from the cities served by the Southeast attended the event.
State Senator Michael Brady, Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan, State Senator Paul Feeney, State Senator Walter Timilty and State Representative Carol Doherty also attended and delivered speeches. speeches during the conference program. They spoke about the new facility, the work that went into making it a reality, and the opportunities and benefits it will provide for Southeast students and the wider community.
Plans for the new SPAC have been in the works for nearly a decade, but due to budget constraints the project was put on hold for many years. Construction of the space began in October 2020 and was completed at the end of January.
The full SPAC is approximately 13,000 square feet. It includes a 288-seat theater and a large push stage with seating for the audience on three sides.
During the ceremony, guests got to see what a performance in the new space will look like as students from the Southeast performed two musical numbers on the new stage. The theater area will be a multipurpose space and can be used for large and small shows and concerts, videos and films, assemblies, guest speakers, academic classes and more.
“This addition here – we saw at the grand opening just the potential of this – it’s magnificent,” Senator Timilty said. “Now organizations, entities and ensembles, such as the Southeast Players, have an A-plus facility to accompany an A-plus performance.”
“It seems like just yesterday that we were here for the groundbreaking and now it has turned into a really nice facility,” Senator Brady said.
The SPAC also has state-of-the-art technical equipment and an educational space behind the stage, a green room behind the scenes and dressing rooms for participants in shows and events. Students in several professional programs will have the opportunity to use and learn in the space, including students interested in aspects of theater outside of performance, such as sound, lighting, and rigging .
“We understand that the creative and performing arts have a place in our society which we have seen during the pandemic is of vital importance, and we miss it when it is not there – it is the fabric of our community said Senator Feeney. “To see all the work that goes on behind the scenes, and for people who can pick up different skills and take your education and your craft and bring it to a performing arts center like this is invaluable.”
Apart from the theater, SPAC also has a semi-circular glass-enclosed art studio and gallery that can be used to showcase artwork and other projects, as well as hold events. A concession stand is also located at the entrance to the gallery.
“It’s such a joyous occasion, to be in this incredible space, built with a devotion to the students and teachers of this school and this region,” Rep. Doherty said.
“I know [the performing arts center] was a dream of many, and it takes a lot to make that dream come true, and it was realized today,” said Mayor Sullivan. “What I will humbly ask is that we fill this place every time there is a performance. Show our support, show our admiration, show our love for children. That’s what it means to be a community. We are a special community, but we are better together.
Rep. Doherty also presented a citation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives congratulating Southeastern on the new facility.
After the lecture program, school committee members, local officials, and local and state officials helped cut the ribbon from all three sides of the stage, officially unveiling the SPAC.
“We are absolutely thrilled to finally open this space to our students and the community, and to recognize and showcase all the different types of talents that our South East students possess. SPAC is a space that all of our students can use to learn and gain real-world experience through acting and with state-of-the-art theater equipment,” Superintendent Lopes said. “This facility would not be possible without all of the support we have received from our local and state partners, and we cannot thank them enough for recognizing the value this facility will have for years to come.”
Southeastern also plans to open the space to community groups for performances and events in the future, as well as launch a community theater program to bring the arts to more children.
The first performance in the new space will be the comedy “Clue”, which will begin on Thursday, February 10. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.