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The Mount's Black Box Theater to Live in Cahill Lounge
By Paul Leonard

Cahill Lounge, which is currently an area where members of the College of Mount Saint Vincent community come to hang out, exchange ideas, and complete coursework, is poised to become an entirely different kind of meeting place.

As students return for classes in the fall, they will find Cahill transformed from a sea of chairs and tables into the Mount’s first dedicated black box theater.

And it won’t just be returning students who will be taking notice.

“It’s incredibly exciting to provide access to live theatre to students, faculty, and community members in this space,”  says Assistant Professor of Communication Brad Crownover, who is coordinator of the Mount’s theater program and oversees the College’s theater minor.

It’s that program that will benefit most from what will be known as Cahill Theater. However, Dr. Crownover believes the ripple effects would likely be felt across campus.

“In my time at the Mount, I’ve seen a growing interest in theater and performance,” he says. “Having a high quality space to do productions will be a real asset for our students across the board.”

Construction on the new Cahill Theater will take place during the summer, with a target completion date of August 31.

Once completed, the space will also be the new home of Red Monkey Theater Group, founded in 1999 by O’Neill National Theater alum Tal Aviezer, whose love of classic drama, and Shakespeare in particular, seemed like a perfect fit for the Mount.

Mr. Aviezer referenced the Mount’s connection to one of the greatest Shakespearean actors of all time, Edwin Forrest, who, during his heyday in the mid-19th century, built the castle that he named Fonthill Castle, a Mount landmark beloved by the College community for 100 years.

“It would be amazing to stage a production of Macbeth here,” he says. “But we’ll probably start with a comedy instead.”

Red Monkey’s inaugural play at the Mount will take place this fall.

And while the honor of the first play to be staged at the new Cahill Theater is still up for grabs, Mr. Aviezer said the second production, debuting in January 2013, is all set.

So what can students, faculty, and staff expect out of the College’s black box theater as the cold winds of a Riverdale winter once more return to campus?

The answer may surprise some, and delight others: Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”