The ECA Theatre Department provides advanced level, pre-professional training under the tutelage of practicing professional theatre artists. The curriculum models that of a college conservatory training program whereby students:

  • study established and emerging methods and techniques in the areas of acting, movement, and voice and speech; 
  • survey notable plays, playwrights, and styles throughout history, honing their skills of analysis and criticism;
  • explore playwriting, stage management, directing, technical theatre and design;
  • develop and create original work including theatre for social change; and
  • engage in workshops led by prominent master teaching artists.    

The Theatre department strives to bring the finest work to the stage, all the while with a committed respect of the artistic process, and a strong emphasis on collaboration and ensemble work. As a result, students acquire knowledge and develop communication skills that will prepare them for post-secondary and professional careers.  Students’ lives are enriched by the study, performance and appreciation of theatre within a diverse learning environment.

To apply for Admission to the Theatre Department, please visit the Application Process Page.

Photos by Paul Duda


Upcoming Events

The ACES ECA Theatre Department


Glass Pipeline Inherits Dying Angels:
scenes from the modern theatre

Wednesday, January 8 @ 7pm
Little Theatre
1 Lincoln Street

Tickets $12 at the door

(snow date Jan 9th)


Theatre Dept. Junior Ivan Lazaro wins CT Shakespeare Competition!

On Wednesday, February 26, 2020 Theatre Dept. senior Rowan Trowbridge-Wheeler and junior Ivan Lazaro competed in the annual English Speaking Union CT Shakespeare Competition held in Greenwich, CT.  Ivan Lazaro won first place in the competition and will go on to compete in the National Shakespeare Competition held in NYC later this spring!  Congratulations to Ivan and the Theatre Department's Carolyn Ladd, who coached Ivan for the competition!

Theatre Dept. senior Koda Blue wins CT August Wilson Monologue Competition!

On Monday, February 24, 2020, Koda Blue competed with 15 finalists in the CT August Wilson Monologue Competition at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven.  Koda won First place!  She will go on to compete in NY at the National August Wilson Monologue Competition later this spring.  Among the finalist were Theatre Dept. senior Emmanuel Gonzalez who won Third place and junior Ivan Lazaro.  Read more about Koda's win and the competition at the following news links:

2 New Haven Students Head to Broadway

Students Find Themselves in August Wilson's Words


The Theatre Department's upcoming Devised Theatre offering entitled 'Shine Again' was featured in a Daily Nutmeg article on April 5th.  To read the full article, please click the link below:


Theatre Dept Senior Remsen Welsh wins CT August Wilson Monologue Competition!

Theatre Dept Seniors Remsen Welsh and Tiana McGee made the regional finals of the August Wilson Monologue Competition held at Yale Repertory Theatre on February 28, 2019.  They competed with over 80 students to become two of the fifteen regional finalists.  Schools competing included ACES Educational Center for the Arts, Cooperative Arts & Humanities Magnet High School, Regional Center for the Arts, Wilbur Cross High School, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, Hillhouse High School, Riverside Academy, New Haven Adult and Continuing Education, and Choate Rosemary Hall.  Tiana McGee performed a monologue from Jitney , playing the character Rena.  Remsen Welsh performed a monologue from The Piano Lesson , playing the character Berniece.  Remsen came in first place in the CT competition and will go on to compete at the National August Wilson Monologue competition on Monday, May 6 at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway.  The ACES community celebrates Remsen and Tiana’s artistic success, hard work and creativity!

ACES Educational Center for the Arts is pleased to announce that Ethan Balfour Clark and Erian Diaz placed first and third respectively at the 35th annual Connecticut Shakespeare Competition.  This competition is open to students in Grades 9-12 from public, independent, and parochial high schools.  Students are selected by their schools in a preliminary competition for advancement to the state competition.  Participants are required to perform from memory a monologue from one of Shakespeare’s plays and to recite a sonnet by Shakespeare.  The ACES ECA competition had 23 student participants of which Ethan and Erian were chosen by the Theatre Department faculty to compete at the state competition held at Sacred Heart University.  Ethan will compete in the English Speaking Union National Competition on Monday, April 29 held at Lincoln Center in NYC.  The first place winner of the National Competition will win a three-week summer program at the British American Drama Academy in England.  The second place winner will be awarded a summer program at the American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp in Virginia.  The third place prize is $500.  All seniors in the ECA Theatre Department are enrolled in a Shakespeare Monologue and Sonnet class with instructor Carolyn Ladd.  After the ECA competition is held, the first and second place winners, this year Ethan and Erian, are coached by Chair of the Theatre Department, Ingrid Schaeffer and Carolyn Ladd to prepare them to go on the compete at the state competition.  The ACES community congratulates both Ethan and Erian for their wonderful work and celebration of Shakespeare’s language!



First place:  Ethan Balfour Clark                              ACES Educational Center for the Arts

Richard, Henry VI, pt. 3                                                                                             Sonnet 96


Second place:  Lilli Querker                                                                        Amity High School

Luciana, The Comedy of Errors                                                                                 Sonnet 94


Third place:  Erian Diaz                                             ACES Educational Center for the Arts

Hamlet, Hamlet                                                                                                         Sonnet 141