Pacific Conservatory Theatre's professional Acting and Technical Theatre programs are fully accredited career and technical education (CTE) programs of Allan Hancock College. Students admitted to the programs receive instruction from theatre professionals, apply knowledge and gain experience within the context of the producing professional theatre. The theatre's 58 year history and over 10,000 alumni have continued to make a significant impact on the American theater since its beginnings in 1964. The unique synthesis of professional training and practice make the programs of Pacific Conservatory Theatre nationally recognized as the only one of their kind offered at a community college.
In 1964, AHC President Walter Conrad recognized the essential role of the arts to the development of mature people and the culturally literate community. His leadership in the establishment of such experiences in the community of Santa Maria is likely one of the most important contributions of his administration to the college and to the community at large. Dr. Conrad said, "Because we are geographically isolated from population centers where artistic experiences are readily available to our students and our college patrons, we have an obligation to develop such experiences on this campus." Over 50 years later, the positive impact of that visionary conviction continues to resonate in the lives of the hundreds of thousands who have been touched by the illuminating and edifying art of the theatre.