Loeb Sharpens Productions

Theater to focus on fewer shows next semester

The recently-announced slate of shows going up in the Loeb Experimental Theater next semester, which include two theses and one original play, will see more money than Ex shows have in past years.

Students will produce four regular-season shows next semester, as opposed to last semester’s six.

This change aims to strengthen each show by better dividing the funds available, said Ex Coordinator Jeremy R. Funke ’04. Each show will receive between $600 and $700, compared to $400 to $500 last year.

It will also place a smaller burden on a limited technical staff.

“There’s a sort of tech shortage, so it’s always a strain to get shows to be fully realized,” said Publicity Coordinator Michael M. Donahue ’05.

Additionally, the number of female directors will double next semester, from two to four.

There will also be a larger number of female roles across the board, which Donahue said has been a problem in seasons past.

Emily J. Carmichael ’04 will be directing a play she wrote called Stopover, which involves four female protagonists.

“I don’t consider [my play] to be a feminist enterprise for me, but at the same time, I think it’s rather appalling that there have been so few women on stage,” Carmichael said.

In selecting the shows—which the Harvard Radcliffe Dramatic Club (HRDC) announced Saturday—the group’s officers tried to put together a line-up of productions that would complement each other.

“We’re trying to reinforce the idea of a unified season of shows, rather than just a group of shows that go up in the same place,” said Funke.

In addition, more of the directors are experienced than in past years.

The shows will also be truer to the name “Experimental Theater” than some past seasons have been, according to Joy B. Fairfield ’03. Fairfield will direct HouseBreakHeart, an adaptation of a Victorian work called The Heartbreak House.

She said her production will both comment on and deconstruct the original play.

“This is the first year that directing is going to be more than the interpretation of a previously existing script, which is what happens when you first start,” Fairfield said.

—Staff writer Laura L. Krug can be reached at krug@fas.harvard.edu.