Sunday, May 13, 2012

New Company for Me, New Facilities for You

My school always builds the cool stuff after I leave.

This is the Logan Arts Center. The University of Chicago, my alma mater, has gotten the funds for and now built a state of the art theater, film, and visual art space.

I was in Chicago and on campus these last four days for completely unrelated reasons: friends, family, and the annual world's largest scavenger hunt according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Patricia Marx was in town to write it up for the New Yorker. So instead of explaining it myself (again), I'll probably repost whatever it is that she puts up once it's available. I will just say that balsa wood bridges built to bear human weight are really hard to make (and that people really stink after they fall into Botany Pond), and that getting a mixed drink from a piano that makes a different kind of cocktail depending on what song you play is kind of amazing. I digress.

I took a quick visit of Logan with my oldest niece, who might be applying to the school next year. The facilities are drool inducing. The set shop is massive, the two theaters we saw are gorgeous, and they have catwalk and fly systems. No more running around the outdoor parapet above the windows to get backstage in deep winter, or spotting for people on ladders to hang lights. And that's just the beginning.

It's great to see that the school is starting to really giving the arts some quality facilities to work with. I'm seriously jealous of anyone who is able to participate in University Theater in the future. If nothing else, it will make a degree from the school look that much cooler, once all these serious actors start coming from the program, having benefited from the new state of the art spaces and tech available to them. Who knows, maybe they'll even go ahead and start calling their TAPS major an actual Drama program!

In the meantime, I've just joined the DICE Theater Company, and will be doing some new things with dramatic improv. I'm going to be curious to see how things work out with them-- they're cool people with an interesting concept. More news on all that soon.

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