For the first time, the IU Theatre and Drama department is under one roof. Ten years of construction and renovation at the IU Theatre Department is complete. Department head Jonathan Michaelsen says it’s one of the finest educational theatre facilities in the country.
“It’s a challenge to us now we have space we have wonderful space and we as a department need to fill it and I think that’s a great challenge for our program.”
The new space includes an acting-for-the-camera studio, spaces for acting, voice and speech training; practice rooms, a movement studio and a new studio theatre.
Director of Audience Development John Kinzer hopes the new space will attract theatre that audiences have not seen before.
“Faculty and staff who have some ideas about doing some experimentation and some more experimental work that might not be as attractive to the general public for one of the larger theaters and that kind of work can be done here too,” said Kinzer.
The new studios occupy the stage house of the former University Theatre, now the IU Cinema. As Michaelsen points to a wall of the old pulley system, he says design elements showcase the old and the new.
“This would have been what was used to raise scenery up and down in the old UT stage.”
He says summer theatre that used to take place at the Brown County Playhouse will now be held here under a new name, the Indiana Festival Theatre.
“We’ll use the Halls and the Wells Metz and do one large musical and two shows called rotating rep which means you can see two shows. One night will be one show and the next night will be another show, which is a great challenge for our students,” said Michaelsen.
The Indiana Festival Theatre opens in June.