Advertise - Print Edition

Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Hold Thy Peace denied admission to theater collective

Published: November 17, 2006
Section: News

Thursday nights Undergraduate Theatre Collective (UTC) commission meeting resulted in a decision to deny UTC membership to Hold Thy Peace (HTP), Brandeis Shakespeare Society.

E-mails sent to the current five UTC groups cited logistical concerns regarding use of the Shapiro Theatre and its scene shop as the main reasons for the denial. Given the strains adding a sixth group would place on these resources, it was decided that enlarging the UTC at this time would run counter to its commitment to maintain and improve its current level of quality in production, wrote Brandeis Ensemble Theatre (BET) Co-Coordinator Sam Levor 07 in an e-mail to the BET.

I want to state, however, that this by no means closes off all avenues of cooperation, Levor added. UTC Coordinator Josh Rosenthal 07 has committed to improving relations between the clubs;

the BET E-Board would like to echo and reaffirm this sentiment, and looks forward to working with HTP to better undergrad theater in any way possible.

Rosenthal told the Hoot that Hold Thy Peace is definitely able to apply again at any point in the future, adding that this decision did not rule out HTP ever becoming a member of the UTC, but for now, it shows how we believewe dont have the resources particularly at this moment for bringing in a new group.

He added that he felt last night was sort of a sirena warning callto show how distant and communication-less Hold Thy Peace and UTC relations have becomethis might actually become an impetus that we can communicate better with Hold Thy Peace, so we know whats happening in each others clubs.

Sara Tess Neumann 07, who led the proposal, spoke of her disappointment with the commissions decision. Its really frustrating to work on an issue you feel passionate about and put so much time in it really all semester without getting a positive outcome, she said. By keeping us out of the UTC, they dont have to try to schedule us to get all the time and resources that the other shows get.

Neumann added that while the decision was disappointing, it will not lead to estrangement between Hold Thy Peace and the UTC. So where we go from here is up in the air right now, she said. We are still planning to attend commission meetings because we understand the importance of the theatre groups communicating and working together.

Several Hold Thy Peace members, however, were upset with the UTC for its decision. Several were so angry that they declined to comment further, stating that any response to the decision would be unfit for publication.

David Brown 09, who has previously performed in UTC productions, felt that the meeting was fair, and discussion was reasonable some people were clearly for HTP joining, others clearly against, and others in the middle, he said. I was in the middle, but I think they should've been allowed to join. If HTP is going to continue to find a way to use the theater anyway, I don't see why they shouldn't be allowed to join.

Long-time Hold Thy Peace performer Erik Potter 07, however, remained optimistic. I appreciate that a lot of time went into this, and I can understand the logistical difficulties, Potter said. I'm not particularly fazed by the decision. Hold Thy Peace can keep on keeping on.

Hold Thy Peace Vice President Joshua Sheena 08, agreed with Potters assessment. In my opinion, it will not affect the quality of Hold thy Peace's shows whatsoever, Sheena said. We will continue to put on amazing shows like we have done in the past. We have put on three excellent shows in the last three semesters without being in the UTC, and we will put on many more in the future.

Neumann was adamant, however, that our group will survive we will work every semester to get the Shapiro Theatre, even if its not under optimal conditions. Thats what we do, she said. The reason we have survived this long is because people are passionate about the group, and it doesnt matter to them whether or not were part of the UTC.