Down a side hallway in the Fine Arts Center sits a room that many students don’t know exists, but those in the theatre department refer to as The Blackbox Theatre. The theatre is a new stage for students to be able to work on smaller, more detailed plays and learn to direct and put on a show of their own.
Professor Anna Gross talked about the Blackbox and described it as an experimental place for the actors in the department that allows them to try smaller stages and work more closely with the audience. Gross talked about how the venue is new to students and that it is actually the first year that different series have been launched there.
Junior Megan Hackey, who just produced the show “The Pillowman” in the theatre, talked about the performance and described the Blackbox as a new and challenging space to work in.
“One of the limitations was the set and having to be talked down from some of my bigger ideas due to the lack of space”, she said.
Hackey described the show as a learning experience for her and her actors and said it allowed for learning on a different stage with such a close crowd and small space.
“It definitely made us more aware of our surroundings, and learning to project our voice more since there were no microphones in the theatre,” she said.
One of the problems with the Blackbox Theatre is that it is few know its there.
“It is a shame that students aren’t even aware that the theatre exists,” said Soundings Director Sally Ann Majoya.
Majoya said how important it was for fellow students to support the actors in their development and producing shows that take place in the Blackbox.
One problem with attendance at the Blackbox Theatre is that most events that take place aren’t considered Soundings events. Hackey said that making the shows Soundings events would hopefully bring out more people and could possibly even keep shows open longer as long as the seats were filled every night.
Majoya said she’s open to the idea saying it was “negotiable,” but said that some problems could come arise if shows are on the main stage in the Casella Theatre at the same time since they share an exit door and are so close together. The shows are free to anybody who wants to attend and usually run for several days.