To the Editor:

As the director of the Georgetown Players Improv Group, I watched the construction of the new Performing Arts Center all last year and dreamed about opportunities to use it before I left this spring.

When I asked a very prominent faculty member about my club’s chance of using the new building this year, I was told not to bother and that it was impossible. I believe Meredith Cooke’s article, “Davis Access Limited for Some Student Actors” (THE HOYA, Dec. 6, 2005, A1), barely scratched the surface about how upset most students and faculty are over the decision of the College Deans’ Office to severely restrict access to the new building.

Many performance groups have to crowd into stage-less academic classrooms to practice, stacking desks on top of each other just to try to allow enough space to move. Meanwhile, two perfect, brand-new rehearsal rooms remain locked away. It’s not as though a class is using them – only student groups practice after 9:00 p.m. And the analogy to restricting its access like a chemistry lab is ridiculous! Labs are restricted for the safety of students; a rehearsal space does not have any of the same kinds of dangers associated with its use. Most other classrooms are open to students as rehearsal spaces. Doesn’t it make sense that our actual rehearsal spaces should be open to us too?

Many groups have to perform in Bulldog “where is that again?” Alley or other terrible venues because Poulton and Blackbox are booked. While we compete with a noisy vent and makeshift stage, a real theater on our own campus stays empty.

I’m sure the generous donors who contributed to this center would want students to get as much use out of it as possible. In 10 years it will probably open up to students anyway, once some of the paint starts to chip and the “new center smell” fades away. So administrators, I beg you, please let this year’s students have a chance to use a facility worthy of the efforts they put into their craft.

Ryan Wackerman (COL ’06)

Dec. 6, 2005

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