Artist in residence at Gustavus Adolphus College powers the college’s new black box theater

Artist in residence at Gustavus Adolphus College powers the college’s new black box theater

ST. PETER, Minn. (KEYC) — Students at Gustavus Adolphus College’s theatre program are preparing for their next performance in the college’s new state-of-the-art theatre.

Theatre students at Gustavus are hard at work preparing for their next performance in February that'll christen the college's new state-of-the-art black box theater.

Throughout January, Twin Cities theatre professionals and Gustavus alumni Steve Epp - along with his theatre group The Moving Company - have undertaken a residency there to collaborate with students.

“Having been here years ago when none of this was here, it’s really quite extraordinary. It’s a beautiful space and it’s a great size. It’s got a great capacity for being flexible for allowing the department to do different kinds of work than what they can do on the main stage,” says Epp.

Epp and his partners are offering guidance to students as they develop their performance called "You're Invited."

“We work collaboratively with them. We give the students a lot of ownership and involvement, and really ask them to contribute, to initiate to come up with ideas and then we work from that and build on that,” says Epp.

The college's new black-box theatre gives students the ability to experiment with their abilities.

“I remember Henry talking about when he talked to the architects - the people building this - that he said he wanted his students to be able to climb up the walls. I do feel like I can kind of just like it’s a jungle gym,” says theatre honors student Hannah Mahr.

Students say they're getting into the gritty phase of prepping for "You're Invited."

The entirety of the experimental piece takes place around a dinner table.

With the new theatre, students were provided with a blank slate to develop the play.

“I think the main shift is that in addition to having another teaching space, we have another performance space. So it would certainly impact what we can offer during our regular mainstage season," says theater and dance co-chair Henry MacCarthy.

Tickets for “You’re Invited” go on sale Feb. 6 and can be purchased online by visiting Gustavus Adolphus College’s Ticket Office website.

Performances have been scheduled for Feb. 20, Feb. 21 and Feb. 23.

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