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All the world’s a stage…A look at the performance spaces at Brooks:


Built: Named for Nicholas and Felisa Vanoff, parents of Nick Vanoff ’80, this space follows the true black-box theater style: a very simple, unadorned room with a black stage and black curtains as background. This style, which gained popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, al- lows the performance area to remain flexible.

Seats: Depends on the show. The room capacity varies because chairs can be added to the built-in bench seating, but when staged for fall play The Under- pants by SteveMartin, it could seat 61.

What you’ll see there: The Vanoff The- ater offered a perfect setting for last year’s chilling Never the Sinner, which chronicled the infamous true story of teen killers Leopold and Loeb. Cast members who played newspaper re- porters sat in the audience and shouted out questions as part of the production.


Built: Originally built in 1870 as a barn. Music and art classroomswere added in 1931, and an auditorium with a stage andmovie booth was added in 1934. In the 1940s, the classrooms were reno- vated into faculty apartments.

Seats: Often the spot for all-school events, this auditorium houses almost the entire student body, with 261 the- ater-style seats, plus 27 additional chairs.

What you’ll see there: The Auditorium is home to the weekly School Meeting aswell as the bigger productions by the Theater Department, including thiswin- ter’s musical, The Producers.


Built: Room X, located in the basement of the academic building, is named as such because all the rooms were origi- nally named with letters instead of room numbers.

Seats: Seating remains unchanged, even with the renovations; the room will seat 84 people.

What you’ll see there: Room X is tradi- tionally used for movie screenings and filmclasses, butwill nowbe able to fea- ture stage performances that might drawa smaller,more intimate crowd. A storyteller series had a successful debut in the space this winter.

PeteMcKenna ‘11 (left),Will Parker ‘11 and other members of the school’s improv comedy troupe were the first to perform in the newly renovated Room X.

Room X Redux School adds third performance stage to its repertoire

SINGERS, ACTORS, MUSICIANS AND POETS on campus just found one more place to share their talents. RoomXrecently underwent a quick ren-

ovation, and nowfeatures a low-set stage and new lighting, adding to the performance spaces available for students, guest speakers or faculty. To celebrate the room’s ‘reopening’ an

evening of performance artwas held there in mid-November. It featured a poetry reading by facultymemberMark Shovan, a dramatic reading by Sam Burnim ’10 of a piece by Jenna O’Connell ’10, a performance by stu- dent-improv group Green Light and a piano performance byHungarian exchange student Tibor Daniel Feher of his original composi- tions. The room has long been the meeting

place of filmstudents, thanks to the 12-foot- longmovie screen along one of the walls. ButMattGrant,who teaches filmcourses

and runs the Art Association (which hosts movie screenings for the general student body), said he felt there was a need to add to the school’s existing stages. “When you play to an audience, you take

your art to another level,” said Grant. And with only two stages on campus, he felt there was another need for a third stage.He noted that the auditoriumis sometimes too large a setting for intimate performances like the evening of performance art, and that the Vanoff theater has limited seating. “Art in general and in this case perform-

ing arts are very important to Brooks stu- dents, whether they are part of the production, ormerely an audiencemember,” said Arts Coordinator Doug Burbank. “Mr. Grant’s simple yet highly effective transfor- mation of Room X gives us a wonderful venue in the main academic building where students and adults can come together and experience a live show.”

12 Brooks Bulletin

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