Claire Stone, a fourth-year English major, sat silently with a friend on the stage of the empty Theater East, soaking in the new space. Meanwhile, first-year Ivan Pyzow and other members of Voices in Your Head wandered into Theater West and burst into song, admiring the acoustics of their new home. At the recent Open House, many students had a “the first time I was in Logan” moment, whether they wandered into an artist’s studio, opened a door to find an expansive theater, or stumbled upon a balcony overlooking all of campus. The Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts opened to student classes, rehearsals, gallery showings, and performances on March 26 for a six month preview period. The Center features, among its many spaces, a 450-seat music hall, a proscenium theater, a black box theater, a film screening hall, a digital media center, and a performance penthouse. Through starting to use the space, students are discovering their favorite features and imagining how student artists will use the space for years to come.Second-year biology and visual arts major Anita To said she is excited about use of the infinity wall for film and photography. “The infinity wall is like a white ‘green screen.’ It’s a room with no corners, only curves, so you can’t see the end of the walls. I’m looking forward to filming in there and the projects using that,” she said. Circus group and UT member Will Craft, a first-year, said he is excited about all the new opportunities for circus because of the Center.“Once we have rigging points in our room in Logan, circus practice will be so much easier,” he said. “I’m also looking forward to performing in the Logan courtyard and being able to use fire during our performances there.”
The Logan Center also spells a change in the facilities available for theater productions. While costumes and the shop used to be located on Cottage Grove—over a mile from the on-campus theaters—they are now located in the Center, just a few floors from the stage. According to Stone, this will have a significant impact on crew work. “Now we can just take the set over on the elevator and it will be easier to change things,” Stone said. “So much less will be lost in translation and transportation.” Stone also said some of the Center’s features that cannot be seen by audience members will greatly expand the opportunities for what can be shown onstage. “Theater East has fly space. A set designer drools over fly space,” she said, discussing the system of rigging that will allow for sets, curtains, and even actors, to be hoisted offstage. “A director now has so many more options and there are more possibilities for designers.” In addition to providing facilities for experienced artists, some students hope Logan inspires new artists. Stone said she anticipates Theater West motivating many students to participate in the arts. “Students will come into this school and have it be their goal to perform there by the end of their four years,” she said. Pyzow said he also feels a strong sense of responsibility to campus and the arts community because of the professional feeling and amenities in Logan. “It’s a quality of space we won’t get again after we graduate until we reach the upper echelon of the arts world,” Pyzow said. Across arts RSOs and majors, students are excited that all the arts will be located in one building. Formerly theater was housed in Reynold’s Club, visual arts in Midway Studio, and music and dance groups were scattered around campus. “You can physically run into a painter, stumble across work someone is doing, and know what artists are doing, thinking about, and creating,” Jesse Roth, third-year TAPS and English major and UT Committee Chair, said. Will Bishop, fourth-year TAPS major and TAPS marketing manager, said this will make collaboration between artists easier and more common. “The groups will be spatially closer now and hopefully creatively closer too,” he said. While Logan will not officially open until October, students are able to utilize the space and are using this quarter to explore everything the space has to offer. During seventh week, theater RSOs will be performing “Apocalypse,” a show employing every area of the building for performance, including the theaters, classrooms, stairwells, and bathrooms. “We want to break in the space for performers and the audience and help the audience see the space in a new light,” Roth said. While students are just getting started, some are already enjoying their time in Logan. “Working here is such joy,” Bishop said.