"It's important that it is a student decision," Kiely says. "But I'd like to see more consultation with the committee, Faculty and perhaps other students as well."
Adler calls for a structural change to the space selection process--where a more diverse group of student artists, including student leaders from the dance and music organizations, would choose the productions for the Mainstage.
Adler says she would also like to see time slots set aside each year beyond the four traditional Mainstage productions for different types of performances.
"There are talented dancers on campus that are not represented on the Mainstage," she says.
She and her co-director Kiesha M. Minyard had applied for the Mainstage with the same show last year but were rejected.
"We and our staff did have one more year of experience," Minyard says. "But our application wasn't all that different, so we have no way of knowing why we got it this year."
A Delicate Balance
While HRDC board members concede that the process for choosing Mainstage productions is not perfect, they do make efforts to eliminate bias and choose shows fairly.
Any board member who is applying to direct or produce a show for the Mainstage cannot take part in the deliberations.
So when Jessica F. Shapiro '01, the coordinator of the Experimental Theatre and an HRDC board member, applied for the Mainstage slot as producer of "Jesus Christ Superstar," she did not participate in the selection process with the board.
"Superstar" did get the space anyway and will open in the fall.
According to Jackson, the board doesn't take a formal majority-rules vote when choosing a show, but instead picks by consensus, deliberating until all members agree on the two shows.
The consensus method aims at making all board members happy with the final choices.
And despite concerns that the HRDC board doesn't have the expertise to evaluate shows beyond the realm of plays and musicals, they do make an effort to take advantage of board members' past experiences.
Connery says "sometimes there is a tendency to defer to board members who know more about an area...there are several members of the board with a dance background."
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