"Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You In the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad" (Fall 2007)
The Theater community at Harvard is a unique environment where undergraduates have the opportunity to make quality theater with creative freedom. Theater at Harvard is different from programs at other universities. Although Harvard doesn't currently offer a Theater or primary Dramatic Arts concentration, courses are offered through the Committee on Dramatic Arts and a newly created secondary field in Dramatic Arts. In addition, many other departments offer related courses. It is possible to build a special concentration with theater as a component (contact the Registrar for more information about Special Concentrations).
The practice of theater at Harvard University is largely extracurricular, and for the most part, student organized and managed. Over 60 productions – almost entirely produced, directed, designed, acted, and run by students – are presented each year. There are more than a dozen theater organizations on campus, including the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club (HRDC), Hasty Pudding Theatricals, Harvard-Radcliffe Gilbert & Sullivan Players, Hyperion Shakespeare Company, BlackCAST, Dunster House Opera, and Lowell House Opera. There are several theater venues on campus:
the Loeb Drama Center which comprises the 540-seat Loeb Mainstage and the blackbox Experimental Theater (the Ex); the 250-seat Farkas Hall (formerly New College Theatre); the 330-seat proscenium Agassiz Theatre (The Ag); and the 90-seat Adams Pool Theatre (yes, it used to be an actual pool).
Productions often are performed in unconventional spaces as well, such as House dining halls, common rooms, and even courtyards.
The main organizations that support theater at Harvard University are the Office for the Arts (OFA) , the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club, and the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.), one of the country’s premiere professional companies in residence at the Loeb Drama Center.
It's easy to get involved in theater at Harvard. For actors, the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club hosts a week-long audition session called Common Casting at the beginning of each semester. Productions are cast through this process, which is intended to create a low-pressure atmosphere for actors to audition for as many shows as possible. The week following Common Casting, the HRDC hosts Tech Week which provides workshops and opportunities for involvement for interested technicians. There are also tech trainings available at both the New College Theatre and Agassiz Theatre. You can also get involved through the dramatic or arts groups in your residential house; most houses will have theater, film, or other performance-oriented arts groups.
Have an idea for a project? All you need to do is gather a production staff and apply for a space that would best work for your project. Apply through the HRDC for Loeb spaces, the Office for the Arts for Farkas Hall (formerly New College Theatre) and Agassiz Theatre, and with resident tutors for House Theatres.
While this decentralized system may seem chaotic, making theater at Harvard University is a highly gratifying and educational, not to mention fun, experience. Anyone who wants to get involved can.
If you'd like more information on theater at Harvard, don't hesitate to contact any Office for the Arts staff member.
Alice In Wonderland, '05, HRDC; Caligula, '04, HRDC; HMS Pinafore, '07, Gilbert & Sullivan Players
Metamorphoses, '07, HRDC; Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You In the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad, '07, Visiting Directors Program
Rhinoceros, '06, HRDC