The University and the Drama Department are very proud to announce the new theatre, due to open in early 2013, is to be named after legendary British playwright Caryl Churchill. Her career found success from the moment it was born over six decades ago, being the recipient of many awards for her accomplished plays.
Professor Dan Rebellato, Head of the Department of Drama and Theatre, stated “Caryl Churchill is internationally recognized as one of the key playwrights of the last 100 years. To be able to name our theatre after Caryl Churchill is a great honour for the College and just recognition of her restless theatrical creativity.” The selection of her name to bestow upon the new theatre reflects the connection Royal Holloway has always had with its founding principles of women’s education.
The Caryl Churchill Theatre will be able to seat 175 people within its 2 tiers. This theatre will be one of the Drama Department’s main public performance venues; however, it will also be the host of lectures, platform events, debates and panels, ensuring to benefit much of the student body. There is also hope that the theatre will be able to attract touring productions looking for a venue outside London in the South-East of England. One resident theatre company, “non-zero one”, will quickly be making this theatre their new home, allowing them to present the work of Holloway’s own graduate theatre company.
One hope expressed by current Royal Holloway students is that this new theatre does not become another “Handa Noh Theatre”. Built in 1991, it has since little use, despite the burgeoning talent within the Drama and Theatre Department keen to use the unique venue. Whilst it may be preserved for solely “Noh” performances, it seems to receive far less attention than it really ought to.
Students at Royal Holloway should be excited for the impending completion of this venue. It will add to the variety of locations across campus that allow for the use of student activities, and hopefully encourage and accommodate the vast range of theatrical talent present at the college.