Dartmouth College Theater Lab
Client / Dartmouth College
Services / Planning

In the Spring of 2011, the Hopkins Center for the Arts (HOP) and the Theater Department began working together with AMS Planning & Research on imagining, defining, designing and costing a new Theater Lab program at Dartmouth College based on a set of compelling ideas that had been set forth in a white paper of the chair of the Theater Department.

As a result of this planning effort, the following overarching goals for the Theater Lab emerged:

  • Develop a dynamic cross-disciplinary “arts practicum” experience for the incubation of new work that serves both the college and the field
  • Promote “creativity everywhere” by involving as many students as possible
  • Activate faculty talents and experience through additional opportunities for professional creative and research engagement on campus
  • Enhance Dartmouth’s reputation and position as an arts leader in higher education by inaugurating a unique program that incubates new work for the theater

AMS conducted a series of interviews, workshops, meetings, best practice explorations and planning discussions that helped shape this exciting new initiative:

  • Campus stakeholder interviews
  • In-depth conversations with the New York Theater workshop Directors, reflecting on their 20-year summer partnership with Dartmouth
  • Half-day roundtable with Dartmouth-affiliated theater professionals in New York
  • Student focus groups during New York Theater workshop summer residency
  • Theater Lab program hands-on design sessions with Dartmouth Theater Department core facility and staff

Based on the goals and broad input noted above, a detailed program plan and cost estimate was prepared by AMS for the Theater Lab .  The AMS final report summarizes input and perspectives gathered during the study and discusses the desired impact for all participants (students, faculty, artists, audiences).  Outcomes from feedback, as well as a proposed annual program plan and pro forma budget, were presented to the University Leadership for action in April 2012.