Hey y’all, in the words of Emily Brown, “the Future of theatre” lives within these walls.
In the last few weeks, I have seen some incredible theatre. Typical, for being in a theatre school. Except the difference is it was all made by undergraduate students.
This school produces the most excellent artists. Directors, actors, set designers, stage managers, lighting designers, sound designers, literally all people who make all the art, they are incredible. The students at this school are INCREDIBLE.
So why don’t undergrads make more self-sourced art on a regular basis?
Why don’t we get space during our education other than our senior thesis to make choices about the kind of art we want to produce?
The caliber of product is increased tenfold when the full spectrum of undergraduate talent is used. Every mainstage show is made to look incredible by the skill of the undergraduate designers. They get the opportunity to use the mainstage budget to blow their talent up on a major stage. We’re lucky enough to be blessed with designers who smart and clever, and it’s incredible that they get to practice creating large scale productions in a classroom setting.
But what about the undergrad directors or producers or writers? Besides a thesis, there is little to no opportunity to get into the school-wide season. Thank goodness there are more workshops coming around for new work, giving playwrights more and more time to get their work out into the world. But it seems a shame to not tap the talent readily available and itching to work.
Just this quarter, two productions were senior-led and they were some of the most timely and intelligent work that this school has seen in a long time. Rhyver White and Jesse Richardson-Bull are unfathomably talented, and I think it’s a cryin’ shame this school doesn’t get to see more of their work. This quarter, Rhyver directed undocumented. and Jesse directed Don Juan Comes Back From The War (his second BU production- the first being The Baltimore Waltz at the beginning of the school year). They were poignant and timely productions of challenging works, approached with care and compassion. The CFA audience is better off for having experienced their work.
All I’m saying is, we’ve got a bunch of really really cool people in this building. I wish we could see some more of them.
(You can, if you come to the New York City Performance Showcase on Monday, March 6th. RSVP here.