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Handbook Appendices Forms Theatre Scholarships For Theatre Majors, Minors, and Intendeds University Theatre Handbook Table of Contents Theatre Home

B.4.d. Laboratory Presentations

Laboratory presentations are of several kinds, both formal and informal in intention, and are characterized by an intention to emphasize other factors than leading an audience through a tightly controlled experience. The proposed purpose of these presentations may include theatrical experimentation, demonstration of performance or scripting techniques, try-outs of new materials, or just plain we-all-enjoy-theatre-here-and-we-pretty-much-like-each-other-so-let’s-have-fun. The audience—very much a requirement for even laboratory work—is nearly always an invited one, and admission is never charged.

Of course, there is a running series of directing or acting class performances in directing and acting. The final performance projects of these courses may be played before an invited audience and they bear same restrictions on staging which the laboratory presentations do. These projects are usually presented in the Studio Theatre, although, calendar permitting, an occasional foray to Bach Theatre may be feasible.

Laboratory productions are normally not a part of course expectations, although credit may be allowed. Examples of laboratory situations include

1) Senior Projects not a part of a sanctioned Student Studio, (section C.3)

2) Readings of new scripts developed in class or independently,

3) Individual or group presentations created outside of class.

4) The annual SPAM Awards celebration has a laboratory bias to it, reveling as it does in its production qualities.

A noteworthy aspect of laboratory shows is the absence of technical support. The exception is the SPAM Awards. This does not mean that they are completely denuded. The rehearsal “blocks” used by the performance classes are available in the Studio Theatre, and perhaps eight to twelve lighting instruments for area lighting—if the qualified personnel can be convinced to hang and run them—but the emphasis ought to be on the material and the performer, NOT on the mounting of the production. No faculty critique of the performances is mandated. (Apart from the class-related presentations and the Senior Projects). These ought to be opportunities to enjoy and explore without the burden of evaluation being overlaid on the experience. This is not to say that individual faculty members will not respond to what they see if asked, but the intention is to allow experimentation to occur, for mistakes to happen, for discoveries to come about outside the pale of everlasting critical scrutiny. Do them for joy!

Interested students of these presentations must clear the time and space through the University Theatre calendar (held by Professor Yanik) and somehow find the energy to participate. Keeping the productions super simple is one key to the energy problem.

There are no funds available from the Theatre budget to produce laboratory presentations. Any expenses involved in the presentations must be the responsibility of the student. You are invited to submit a proposal for a laboratory production for faculty approval.

(Use the appropriate form found in Section E of this handbook, returning it to the Department Chair).

Next Section: B4e: University Players

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