First student-run production plays at Studio 58

Langara students wrote, directed and produced the show

Charlie Beaver preparing props for the set of "Hot House." Photo by Tierney Grattan
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Reported by Tierney Grattan

For the first time in its history, Studio 58 didn’t bring in outside professionals to help its students create their current production.

Normally, the faculty brings in professional directors and playwrights for students to work with. This time, students have been given complete creative control.

Hot House is a collection of plays written, directed, produced and acted entirely by Studio 58 students. The plays that the students have written talk a lot about problems that many students face, said David Hudgins, the Studio 58 associate director.

Hudgins hopes that through this production, the students who have written the plays will have a chance to have their voices heard by creating something youth driven, and gain good experience from it.

Exploring new responsibilities

Charlie Beaver is one of two set/prop designers. Normally he would be working under the supervision of a department-hired mentor, but he’s enjoying the freedom Hot House has given him.

“This is a whole other level of exciting responsibility,” Beaver said.

“It’s really the actual job of being a set designer, and it goes beyond my previous experience tenfold.”

Beaver also said that he really enjoys working with his classmates in unfamiliar territory. Knowing that they’re there helped when things go wild or mess up.

Erin Palm, an acting student, has taken the role of director for one of the eight plays in Hot House. Palm, who had directing experience from Capilano University, said she was really excited about being in a student-led production.

“I think that this is really what’s going to happen when we leave Studio 58,” Palm said. “A lot of people start companies, and so I’m kind of using this as a little experiment to see how that would go.”

Hudgins said they had been thinking about doing it for a while. They had been doing a program review, and wanted to find ways to expand the ability of production students and find challenges for them.

“The idea of a Hot House is like a greenhouse, a place where things grow,” Hudgins said. “It has that idea for a starter mix for our students so they can start to own their craft.”

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