The University of IowaAnnual Report 2008-09


The show must go on

Loyce Arthur, Associate professor, theatre arts

We were displaced from our building for the fall semester. To a certain extent we tried to take it more philosophically because as theater artists we do theater wherever we can or have to—the actual costume shop itself is now in Studio Arts [Building].

We immediately started conversations talking about what we were going to do with the next season. What was most immediate, what was the most obvious was that we had to postpone. So we didn’t do our first show in that first slot and the first show that opened was not until November.

At the same time, almost immediately we started to plan how soon we could get back into the building. So much of theater is about community building and you come together as this group. You get all comfortable with one another and then you put on a performance for an outside audience. You have to have a solid foundation and then you present on top of that—so finding ways to do that outside of our building was an interesting process throughout the fall. But it becomes easier and I think it was easier for the students when we got back into the building.

We started back in that last week of the semester, and everybody was excited. It really was kind of a celebration, kind of a coming home and unpacking. Part of it, too, for those of us in design, our offices face the river. Just visually, I think, the difference between being able to look at that river every day when we come in and seeing the different changes in the river, we’ve all talked about it—we can watch the eagles come in and land, and dusk and dawn sometimes, all kinds of changes that go on with the river. So I think almost feel a little bit of a kinship with it, and so it was sort of nice to be back in that environment again.