BU joins forces with BTE

For immediate release: July 3, 2007

BLOOMSBURG — Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s theatre department is getting a chance to perform on the professional stage of the Alvina Krause Theatre in downtown Bloomsburg.
BU and the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble (BTE) have signed a lease agreement that will allow the university to use the theatre facilities 87 days a year. According to BTE, the university will have access to the theatre when “the stage is dark,” or not being used. The BU theatre faculty worked with the BTE actors and staff to arrange a mutually acceptable schedule.

The idea for the agreement emerged after BU President Jessica Kozloff met with the BTE Board of Directors to discuss a collaborative arrangement between the two groups.

“This is a classic win-win situation,” Kozloff said. “The university is able to financially contribute to a vital part of downtown Bloomsburg, and our theatre department becomes one of the few programs in the country that is associated with a professional ensemble and performs in a theatre in the community.”

BU’s theatre department had identified a need for improved theatre facilities, and BTE was in need of a new source of income to help sustain the theatre. BU and BTE had worked together in the past, including BU faculty members serving as directors, actors and designers.

“The relationship between the university and the ensemble has been in existence for quite some time. We are thrilled to have this formal lease agreement, and we are all very grateful for the support of Dr. Kozloff and the BU Council of Trustees,” said BTE Board President Bob Tevis.

“This lease arrangement will assist us financially and provide BTE with a ‘new lease’ on life at a time when we most need it,” he said. “We are pleased to have the university students and their professors in the Alvina Krause Theatre. This agreement confirms the importance of the arts and, in particular, live professional theatre for our community and students.”

BU’s theatre department has three places available on campus to perform; however, each has certain weaknesses and none was built as a dedicated theatre. The lease agreement with the Alvina Krause Theatre will help solve some of these issues.

The lease agreement also is a plus in the accreditation process for BU’s theatre arts department, according to James Mackin, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “There is no doubt that the new facility will help the theatre arts department’s quest for accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Theatre. Currently, just 135 schools, conservatories, colleges and universities nationwide have achieved NAST accreditation,” he said. “Additionally, our students are excited about the continuing opportunity of working with the professional actors at Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble.”

The lease, for $63,000 a year, began Sunday, July 1, subject to the final approval of the state attorney general, and will continue for the next five years with an annual increase based on the consumer price index. BU’s Bloomsburg Players will present productions three times a year in the Alvina Krause Theatre. BTE will continue to present its annual Mainstage Season of four plays and the annual summer family show.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Professional Studies, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.