Arts & Culture

Brown Theatre Collective unites thespian groups across campus

BTC aims to connect members of campus theatre community, increase accessibility

By
Staff Writer
Thursday, October 6, 2016

Founded last year, the Brown Theatre Collective is looking forward to its first full year as a campus group that brings together actors, directors, artists and students passionate about theater. The group’s three founders, Naiyah Ambros ’17, Marina Hyson ’18 and Danielle Perelman ’17, a former Herald photographer, were inspired to form the collective after realizing just how difficult it is to get involved in the theater community at Brown.

“It’s really hard to break in (to the Brown theatre community). Everything’s really confusing,” Ambros said. “There’s nowhere you can go to just find out about theater.”

The Brown Theatre Collective’s goal was to make the theater community more accessible to outsiders looking to get in, as well as to streamline communication among theater groups at Brown.

After drafting a group constitution, Ambros, Hyson and Perelman brought their idea to Brown’s numerous theater groups, all of whom agreed to be member groups and communicate with the BTC through an assigned liaison.

Because BTC aims to be more accessible than traditional Brown theater boards, the collective does not elect a president, relying on the leadership of a core group of members who divide duties up among themselves.

“We’re not a board in any way. We really are a collective,” Ambros said.

At weekly meetings, the group discusses large-scale problems the campus theater community faces. The group also plans to host workshops and series like the “Last Call: Theatre Edition,” which Sarah Cooke ’17 put together last year. Cooke, then a junior, interviewed seniors and asked them to share information about their experiences in Brown theater to be used as a resource for future students.

The collective also curates a website that Perelman and Ambros said they hope will help students interested in participating in productions find shows suitable for them. 

While Perelman, Ambros and Hyson founded and currently lead the group, they hope they can reduce their involvement to focus more on their leadership positions on the Musical Forum Board to allow space for less involved but interested members of the Brown theater community to participate.

“The whole goal is for there not to be three figureheads,” Perelman said. “For people not on boards, this is a place for them to have an active role in the theater community.”

As the collective grows, the founders hope to create more of a community for Brown theater, bringing together individual groups and allowing more crossover for members of various groups.

Perelman added that the group aims to make theatre less about “different communities all occupying a similar space and rather one community with a lot of different avenues.”