A saloon in the old West isn’t perhaps the first setting one imagines for a production of Greek tragedy, but it’s home for Sophocles’ Antigone, the opening show in our newly renovated and reconfigured Manucha & Bellamy Studio Theatre.
The student actors and crew from UCC and The Bishop Strachan School, along with faculty directors are looking forward to their November 21 debut in the revitalized space, which kicks off the 2019-20 theatre season at the College. Thanks to a UCC committee and, more important still, the generosity of the Manucha and Bellamy family, the theatre has been revamped for performance, classes, film, and meetings.
“The reimagined space is a better fit for co-curricular theatre and theatre classes,” says Dale Churchward, the director of the co-curricular theatre program, who also teaches theatre in UCC’s International Baccalaureate program. “It’s been redesigned with multiple uses in mind, film and lectures as well.”
The theatre’s improvements include a sound and lighting booth equipped with the latest digital technology, as well as comfortable new seats and a growth in seating capacity, due to a reconfigured seating plan that replaces a centre aisle with twin side aisles. The new HVAC system is barely audible and the new lighting grid offers flexibility in lighting design. For classroom use and film, the space contains whiteboards, screens and a projector.
“The lovely thing about starting out in a renovated space is that everything is optimal,” Churchward said. “We’ll work to preserve its integrity and to explore.”
While the stage floor is black, the overall space is brighter, extending an invitation to future theatre productions, film presentations, classes, and events as yet unforeseen. It’s the old West this time, but the future holds limitless possibilities.
The production of Antigone, directed by Churchward and English department colleague Julian Bauld inaugurates the renovated theatre, running Nov. 21 to 23. Tickets are available at the College.