GW renovates theater and dance facilities

GW artists will gain more practice space when renovations to Marvin Center expand the facilities of the University’s theatre and dance department.

Currently, the ground floor of the Marvin Center houses a two-story dance studio. But as a result of the renovations, the first floor will be boarded over to create more room for the theatre and dance department, said Al Ingle, associate vice president for business affairs.

“We’re developing a dance studio and a theater studio on the second floor of the Marvin Center,” Ingle said. “During the final stage of the renovation, the second floor will become a full theater rehearsal studio and a dance studio.”

Ingle said the second floor of the Marvin Center also will be used as office space for the theatre and dance department.

“There was a need for an enhancement for facilities,” Ingle said, explaining that the Mitchell Hall practice theater was the only appropriate area for rehearsals before the renovations.

“I think it opens up a whole new opportunity,” said Mike Gargano, assistant vice president of Student and Academic and Support Services.

“Some of the more rapidly growing groups on campus involve the arts,” he said, citing the female a cappella group, The Pitches.

John McGirk recently finished assistant in the direction of his first production at GW, the Creative and Performing Arts Community’s performance of the one-act play “Remedial English.” He said practice was difficult because “half of our practices ended up on the fourth-floor lobby of the Marvin Center.”

Lack of practice space was an obstacle in preparing for the show’s opening, he said.

“I think that expansion is a terrific idea,” McGirk said. “It would increase productivity in rehearsals, which I know was a big problem for us. More space would be great.”

Rory Haiber, another member of CPAC, said she was pleased to hear about the expansion.

Haiber said more space needs to be devoted to the theatre and dance department to accommodate the increased number of participants.

“I’m glad to see a little more space devoted to theater,” he said. “More and more people are becoming involved in theater at GW, and space has been a very large issue. The space allotted to the theatre and dance department has been disproportionate to the number of members.”

Gargano said it has been apparent for some time that the theatre and dance department needed more space.

“Currently, enhanced space is needed,” Gargano said. “I think that is what we’re accomplishing with the second floor.”

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