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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Brandeis Theater Company announces exciting spring season

Published: January 17, 2014
Section: Arts, Etc.

A college spring semester signifies not only the start of new classes but also the beginning of the end for many students, namely those who are to graduate and embark on new adventures.

The Brandeis Theater Company will showcase three shows this spring, thus fulfilling their planned full season of six shows and balancing out what was produced in the fall. The first show, “A View from the Bridge,” will be mounted from Feb. 6-9. The remaining two performances, the Senior Festival and “10 by 10,” will present the work of seniors and MFA actors, all of whom will graduate this coming May.

Unsurprisingly, BTC shows require a lot of work from numerous kinds of people. Some students are actors while others go behind the scenes as crewmembers and stage managers. “It’s a very welcoming environment for people of all levels of experience to test the waters or dive right in,” Alyssa Avis, management assistant and house manager for the Theater Department, said.

Set in the 1950s, “A View from the Bridge” by Arthur Miller takes us to an Italian-American neighborhood near the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. The play was chosen because “there are a lot of great characters for our undergraduate and graduate actors,” Director of Theatre Arts Susan Dibble said. “The show raises a lot of interesting issues having to do with family and love.”

On Mar. 18-23, the highly anticipated Senior Festival will begin its third year. Featuring six shows in total, the festival gives graduating theater arts students the opportunity to showcase their theses or projects. It will also highlight their work as actors, playwrights and directors.

This year’s final show, “10 by 10” (Apr. 26-27) features 10 original solo pieces by 10 actors, all of which, according to the BTC website, celebrate “the fusion of craft and diverse personal perspectives.” Marya Lowry, associate professor of Theater Arts, and her partner Katie Pearl, guide the MFA graduates. “10 by 10” will be performed in two parts; the BTC encourages viewers to see both in order to experience pieces “that are bound to be engaging, fanciful, raw and real, a little radical and a little renegade.”

Although auditions took place last semester, students, such as mid-year students, who would like to be involved in shows can still gain theater experience during this term. “Students should consider enrolling in Theater Practicum (THA 30A), where they can gain experience working behind the scenes of a BTC show,” advised Avis and Dibble. The theater department and BTC welcome students from all disciplines and majors.

As for the next round of shows in the upcoming 2014-2015 school year, both Avis and Dibble advise that “students should follow the ‘Brandeis Department of Theater Arts’ on Facebook or check the BTC website for more information.”

In addition to the BTC productions, the University Theatre Collective will also be showcasing numerous shows. The UTC is comprised of five groups: the Brandeis Ensemble Theatre, Boris’ Kitchen, Brandeis Players, Hillel Theatre Group and Tympanium Euphorium.

Although most of the groups have yet to officially announce their upcoming involvement in the Brandeis theater universe this spring, students can still look forward to Boris’ Kitchen, a sketch comedy troupe, in their spring show, “The Big Show,” which will take place on Apr. 25 and 26.

The Brandeis community should also look forward to Brandeis’ annual Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts (Apr. 24-27). The festival, named after founder Leonard Bernstein, will feature works of all spheres of the creative arts community as well as national and regional artists as well as campus faculty and students. It is sponsored each spring by the Brandeis Office of the Arts.