Students rehearse in a ‘secret place’ for theater production
On top of dealing with financial bottlenecks, students can’t use UG facilities to rehearse. The matter of finding premises to practise has been frustrating for the class. By necessity, they managed to find a space which has to remain secret for rehearsing their play.
‘We’re outside, which means we can keep our distance but the person who owns the place could get in trouble for illegally hosting a rehearsal space for eight people,’ says theatre student Gabriele Dubrovinaite from Lithuania. ‘The university has so many empty buildings collecting dust, spaces that aren’t being used,’ she says.
Another issue facing the students is the funding for their play The Duck Variations. Their lecturer, Lucia van Heteren, always provides funding for students out of her own pocket. ‘She’s an absolute legend and gave us five hundred euros, which we will have to pay back through selling tickets and crowdfunding,’ says Dubrovinaite, who is one of the members in charge of financial matters for the play.
Yet, students are bothered by the situation they are in. They’re worried they won’t raise enough money to pay back their lecturer. ‘There is probably a budget for events like graduations and alumni events that didn’t take place last year. I’m sure that budget could have been used for us,’ says Dubrovinaite.
Instead of just getting this year’s performance off the ground, students now also have to find camera equipment to pre-record everything in high quality, something that is also pricey. ‘The performance has to look good on screen, but camera equipment is super expensive,’ says Dubrovinaite. ‘The university only has some equipment which is not sufficient. We would have to pay six hundred euros, which is the minimum just to rent the tools somewhere,’ she explains.
Nevertheless, the biggest issue remains the rehearsal space. Van Heteren confirms how difficult it is to find a location. ‘We have money for a student assistant and have asked for space in a building. An assistant could take care of the 1.5 metre distance and the cleaning afterwards. It has not been granted,’ she says.
‘Now the students sit behind their laptops most of the time, which is frustrating,’ she adds. They have also been considering getting corona tests before rehearsals, but that would drive up the costs even more.