Black Box Theatre Productions new advisory committee, first show of the year

Fourth-year St. Thomas University student Nathanael Telman will direct a staged reading of Lynn Nottage’s play, "Sweat." (Courtesy of André Reinders)

This story and headline were updated on Nov. 25 because there were no changes made to the Theatre St. Thomas executive board. Instead theatre at STU will be operating under Black Box Theatre Productions, which the changes reflect. The Aquinian regrets this error.

While Theatre St. Thomas is on hiatus, theatre at St. Thomas University will operate under Black Box Theatre Productions.

“While TST is on hiatus, I thought it was really important to strike that committee that will fulfill very much the same role as the executive, except that it will be larger than an executive would normally have been,” said Lisa Anne Ross, part-time instructor at STU

Black Box Theatre Productions will function under the guidance of a large advisory committee made up of students, alumni and faculty. 

“Our executive was traditionally just three people, … this is a larger committee. Really, there’s not going to be a limit on the number of students who can be in the committee and that’s for a couple of reasons,” said Ross. “I want many voices on the committee and I also want to ensure that there’s no undue pressure [on students.]”

Ross said that while the committee will have central members who are consistently active, the committee will be a small commitment that can be altered to a student’s schedule. If there’s a week where someone is unable to attend a meeting, or if they’d only like to attend once, that is okay. 

“A lot of students have to have multiple jobs to keep afloat and they really want to be involved in all of these things, right? These governance and plays and clubs, but sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming,” said Ross. 

Lisa Anne Ross, a part-time St. Thomas University instructor, appears in this file photo. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

She said that with this larger committee, not only will Black Box Theatre Productions be able to hear from a greater number of students, but they can spread out the work of running the theatre amongst more people. 

“There are more students involved and there are more things that we can put our mind to, because we can spread those tasks out across many minds,” said Ross.

For students who take part in the performance aspect of the club, the new advisory committee doesn’t change much, but Ross said she is always open to hearing ideas for theatre at STU. 

Black Box Theatre Productions has already held auditions for several upcoming projects including a staged reading of Lynn Nottage’s play Sweat.

The play will be directed by fourth-year STU student Nathanael Telman and will be shown exclusively on Dec. 3 in the Ted Daigle Theatre as Black Box Theatre Productions’ first production of the year. 

Telman is proud of the cast and crew he is working with and said he thinks audiences will both enjoy the reading and learn something from it.

“I think, hopefully, they’ll walk away with … not necessarily [a] better [perspective], but perhaps a new view of workers’ living realities — this system that we’re all in and just living in relatively comfortably without questioning,” said Telman. “I think this show gives you a reason to question things.”