Feb 242003
Authors: Stephanie Lindberg

A new center for the arts will focus on challenging the boundaries of contemporary theater.

The center was approved by the faculty council for the College of Liberal Arts in December and will seek to promote learning about the work of Samuel Beckett and contemporary theater, said Eric Prince, a professor of theater at CSU.

Beckett, perhaps best known for his play, “Waiting for Godot”, was an Irish playwright who gained fame in the middle of the 20th century, winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. He is often said to be a benchmark for the theater movement of the absurd, which seeks to question the meaning of existence.

“Beckett was one of the more important writers,” Prince said. “His theater work is particularly challenging and experimental. I want to try and create a climate to produce new and challenging work.”

Prince, who did his doctoral thesis on Beckett, said he wants to see this center be a way to develop a new form of theater presentation.

“Since we are a university we are about expanding knowledge,” Prince said. “I’m trying to develop the exceptional and experimental theater.”

The department of music, theater and dance will be moving into the former Fort Collins High School building once it is renovated, which will further advance changes for the liberal arts program, Prince said.

“(With the new building) we’ll be getting a 300-seat thrust theater and a totally new experimental theater,” Prince said.

The center will involve workshops open to students of all backgrounds and Prince hopes to produce at least one Beckett work each year.

“I’ll be trying to run workshops where students of all kinds of interests can get involved,” Prince said.

Remi Frazier, a second bachelor’s candidate in English and the student lead on the program, said he approached Prince wanting to help. Frazier said he helped rally student support by approaching the Associated Students of CSU and working on the financial aspects.

“I think the work of Sam Beckett is fantastic; a visual kind of art form,” Frazier said. “(Beckett) shows a mastery of the language.”

Frazier, also involved with the student-organized theater production group Soon to be Famous, said the next thing is to work on financing the program because they cannot get state money for at least three years, due to budget constraints.

“I’m looking forward to the future,” Frazier said.

Students interested in the new center should contact Prince, who will also be conducting a three-week theater session this summer in London.

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