Hampshire theatre is a process-oriented program that demands strong initiative and motivation from each student.
The Theatre Program centers on active participation and production from the first year of study onward, rather than limiting it to third and fourth year students. Applied theatre practices are equally important in the theatre program; therefore, community engaged learning is an integral part of the learning process. Our Child Drama and Community Program emphasize these elements.
Collaboration is strongly emphasized, and students from other concentrations are welcome to participate in productions. Theatre concentrators are responsible for all facets of the production process at Hampshire, from play selection to strike.
Yearly, Theatre Board (the program’s student-run governance body) produces a season of shows, play festivals, and dozens of student workshops.
In addition to these performance opportunities, students can choose to participate in a variety of production-oriented classes both at Hampshire and with the other four members of the Five College consortium.
Where are the Dressing Rooms?
Exploring Spaces for Performance: Designers, choreographers, and performers frequently face a traditional empty space or, as is often the case, face a nontraditional space and then question how to "fill" or design within it. What elements help create the functionality and appropriateness of a performance space? We will explore a variety of spaces, western, non-western, traditional, non-traditional, and the "performers" who use or have used them.
We will then focus on design elements such as scenery, lighting and costumes, and examine the many ways these elements serve the text and/or vision of a performance piece within these spaces.
Hampshire’s two black-box theaters are managed by the annually-elected student Theatre Board, which schedules shows and workshops, oversees all aspects of production, and allocates funding.
The Mainstage and Studio theatres are versatile performance spaces with significant lighting and sound capabilities, costume and scene shops, and dressing rooms. Our stock collections of props, costumes, and set pieces are augmented by the open borrowing system among the Five College theatre departments.
Five College Theatre Program
The Five College Theatre Program offers a multitude of theatre resources to Hampshire students. Four proscenium stages are supplemented by eight studio/black box theatres, where approximately thirty-five shows are produced each year. Students are welcome to audition for shows at other schools. About forty theatre faculty members, including several professional visiting artists, offer more than one hundred classes relating to theatre each year. Course offerings, special guest artists, and all auditions are published in a Five College Theatre Newsletter, which is available to all students on the five campuses.
Five College Multicultural Theater Committee
The Five College Multicultural Theater Committee is charged with furthering a multicultural perspective in theater. It does so by supporting productions, visits from guest artists, and workshops that promote an appreciation of diversity and difference. It also sponsers WORD!, an annual student play-reading festival featuring ten student writers from the Consortium who are engaging multicultural themes.