What is the Phoenix, anyway?

Phoenix_logo_Clean_x175If you’ve read any of my posts, chances are you’ve heard me rambling talking about The Phoenix. And maybe you’ve pieced it together, because my love and passion for what I do tends to seep into everything I say and write.

But here it is: Your essential guide to the University of Victoria Theatre Program.

The Phoenix is the name of the Theatre Building at UVic. It’s on campus, but it’s outside Ring Road to the west (we like to joke that we’re literally outside the loop). Some other buildings outside the ring include the Visual Arts Building, the Admin Building, the Stadium, the Student Union Building, and all of Residence. So, basically everything important except for the Library.

The Phoenix has three theaters under its (very tall) roof. We have the Chief Dan George Theatre, which is a thrust stage (audience on three sides) and my personal favourite.

There’s the Roger Bishop Theatre, which is a proscenium theatre (traditional audience set-up) with a full fly system (which is the main reason our roof is so tall).

Our smallest is the Barbara MacIntyre Studio, which is a black box theatre (no set seats, just a big black room, basically) and is mainly used for classes and SATCo.

We call them the George, the Bishop, and the Mac. Aw, that sounds so cute when you think about it!

We have four mainstage shows every school year, starting with a Spotlight On Alumni show, where we bring in shows created or produced by alumni. The next three are in-house productions, usually directed by faculty members or graduate directing students. The cast and crew is made up entirely of Theatre students.

The cast of Lion in the Streets (photo: David Lowes)

The cast of Lion in the Streets (photo: David Lowes)

Which brings me to my favourite thing about the Phoenix. Of course we have classes, but the Phoenix also operates as much like a real theatre company as possible. Certain tweaks are made to that set up because it is a learning environment, of course, but we really believe that the best way to learn theatre is by doing it, learning practical skills and getting good at the things we want to do not only through theory but by practice. Plus, it’s just a lot of fun.

More than any other department, I think, our student body is super close, and we’re a very tight-knit community (which can have its benefits and drawbacks). We’re practically all friends, and we’re constantly working together. We party together, especially after shows (and I’m sure you’ve heard about how hard theatre people party), and most of us live with one another. We really like alliteration, such as “Phoenix Phamily”, because, yeah, we’re cool.

AmadeusPoster-Uvic-wide_x486If you want to find out more about the Phoenix, you can have a look at its website here. And if you can, consider coming to our next production, Amadeus! I think it’s going to be a really great production, and it starts on March 12! (You can get cheap tickets for the preview nights on March 10&11)

PS: Here’s a fun tidbit! When you’re talking about the physical place/venue/building/what-have-you, it’s spelled “theater”. But when you’re talking about it in the abstract, as in the art form, it’s spelled “theatre”. I don’t make the rules.

You may also like...