University officials said yesterday that for the first time in recent years, the building of a theatre is high on the Faculty of Arts and Sciences priority list. At the same time, Warren Brody '53, chairman of the Coucil's Theatre Committee, announced that he hard requested Walter Gropius, professor of Architecture, to draw up tentative plan for the theatre.
Initiative would have to come from outside before a theatre could be erected President Couant indicated yesterday. The Univerisity has no free funds, he explained, but the Faculty of Arts and Sciences has finished all its immediate building projects, and can approciate the need for a theatre "now that place like the Brattle are not available to students."
Conant noted that although the theatre project is high on the Arts and Science Priority list, other University department have more or equally pressing projects. He put the School of Education and the School of Public Health in this category.
The theatre project and plans for a big auditorium and overall arts center are two entirely different things, and should not be confused. President Conant warned. He pointed our that while he recognized the need for a theatre, he was less favorably disposed toward building a large auditorium.
In previous discussions about the theatre, the University administration had indicated that it would build a theatre only if it received money and substantial endowment expressly for a theatre. Both President Conant and Provost Buck indicated that they might earmark money for a theatre as soon as someone made substantial funds available for the building.
Brody said he had requested Gropius to have some members of his architecture class make models and drawings for a theatre. According to Brody, Gropious expressed interest in the project, but wanted further definite details before going ahead with the designing.
Student Council President Richard M. Sandler '52 stated that he will meet with Provost Buck tomorrow to discuss the theatre project. Last spring, the Council approved a report requesting a Public Arts Center, which would include a theatre along with facilities for radio, music, drama, and movies.