Academic atmospheres and the lack of fiscal reliance on ticket sales and individual giving makes for novel programming that wouldn’t be sustainable in other environments. These picks represent some of the most underrated theater in Boston. – Bryce Lambert
As an umbrella organization for student theater at Harvard, HRDC oversees undergraduate productions in the Loeb Drama Center as well as other campus venues. Most shows are small productions in the Loeb’s experimental black box theater, but each semester features two, usually phenomenal, large-scale productions on the Loeb mainstage.
A great deal of talent passes through the American Repertory Theater’s graduate program in advanced theater training and you’re likely to see students cast in A.R.T. mainstage shows. Less well known are the A.R.T. Institute’s own productions, offered at substantially reduced ticket prices outside of the regular subscription series. These edgy and typically well produced and acted plays have short runs, so be sure to mark your calendars when they come up.
Boston University College of Fine Arts
Boston University produces a sporadic season of student theater that includes an annual fall Fringe Festival, where the School of Theater joins up with the School of Music’s Opera Institute for a festival that merges theater, recital, and opera. Huntington subscribers receive special discounts on tickets.
For student musical theater, the Boston Conservatory is a sure thing. Cleverly staged productions are usually well sung and choreographed and drawn from a musical theater repertoire more interesting than anything else in town. A new campus theater has been providing these shows with a much improved space to scintillate.
Bryce Lambert blogs on the Boston arts scene at BostonLowbrow.com, offering the occasional review and commentary on local shows, concerts, and art exhibitions.