ABOUT THE CHALLENGE
The ASTC/USITT Venue Renovation Challenge is a challenge where a team of undergraduates or graduate students work with a professional theater consultant to create a theoretical renovation proposal of any space, on or near their campus, into a performance space. The challenge happens every two years at USITT and draws around 7 teams from colleges all around the country.
Winning the 1st prize Edgar L. Lustig Award, and placing over three graduate student teams and three undergraduate & graduate mixed teams, Jackson competed on Emerson's 2019 undergraduate team in the challenge. Working for six months on the project, they created: a mission statement, a layout that fit that statement, 2D & 3D drafts, 3D-renderings, a proposal packet, and a full presentation for USITT. This team was the 1st undergraduate team in the challenge's history to win the Lustig Award.
To meet the needs of the underserved student population at Emerson by transforming and updating a medium-sized meeting space into an intimate 80-seat performance venue, accessible to the many student groups active at Emerson College, fostering an environment suited to collaborative creation.
By reconfiguring the architecture and layout of the existing meeting space - the former banking floor of the Union Bank building - as well as creating ancillary support spaces on the level immediately below grade and the two levels above ground, this project aims to provide the student groups of Emerson College with a stand-alone center for the design, facilitation, and implementation of student-produced theatre and entertainment.
UNION BANK BUILDING
Constructed in 1925, the building was formerly owned by the Union Savings Bank. It was acquired by Emerson College in 1997. It is now the home to the Center for Health and Wellness, the Counseling Center, Career Services, Academic Advising, International Student Affairs, the Office of the Registrar and the Writing and Academic Resource Center.The first floor contains the Bill Bordy Theater and Auditorium, which is used by the college for lectures, performances, conferences and special events.
EXISTING FIRST FLOOR
PROJECT RENOVATION GOALS
Relocation of the main entrance of the performance space from the front of the building to the rear to both separate the venue capabilities of the building from its administrative function, and provide the new student-run venue its own identity distinct from the other spaces at Emerson College, namely the Cutler Majestic Theater, which is across the street from the proposed venue.
Installation of a lighting grid to facilitate the implementation of lighting designs in the space.
Installation of a trap system for easy staging and reconfiguration.
Addition of scene shop, costume construction studio, and design studio to support the preproduction and implementation of shows within the space.
Student-only rehearsal studios to increase the - currently scarce - rehearsal spaces on campus
Storage for incoming and outgoing shows, allowing for smooth transitions between load ins/outs
Loading space and storage on the performance level for quick and easy truck/van unloading (large doors, no truck dock).