Theatre department’s next act is move

Alicia Bonestroo—Staff Writer

When walking through the hall between the classroom and science buildings, it’s hard to miss the familiar conversations bursting from the Theatre pod. However, after spring break, this will no longer be the case.

This year, the Theatre Department will move to a new, temporary quarters during spring break. They will be taking up residence behind the Science Building, near the old greenhouses, and yes, students are still invited to hang out at the new pod. This new building is currently dubbed “The Big Box.”

“The Big Box” will be built with a specific purpose in mind. Installing extra-large doors, reinforcing floors for large machinery, having coverable windows, and possibly even another building are being discussed with the architects. This new theatre will be able to seat up to 140 people and will include a makeup room, a new scene shop, a classroom and offices.

The long-term plan is for the Theatre Department to take up residence in the Performing Arts Center. This will be built behind the B. J. Haan auditorium as an addition to the existing building, occupying the spot currently used by the campfire. The addition will create an opportunity for a new theatre program focus: Musical Theatre. When the department leaves its temporary home, “The Big Box” will likely be repurposed for professional services. However, the long-term plan will not be completed for another five or six years.

“We are excited to be able to keep moving toward the ultimate goal of having an on-campus theatre,” theatre department chair Teresa Ter Haar said. “This move is a stepping stone on that path. It is a bit daunting to think of two moves in the next six years or so, but the long-term benefits outweigh the short-term challenges.”

Nursing students will be excited to hear that the current theatre pod will soon become their very own. The entire space, except for the costume shop, will be renovated to suit the nursing department’s needs. The current makeup, electronics and chair room will become their small screening room.

The costume shop will remain in its basement home at present.

The groundbreaking for the “The Big Box” will happen in November.

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