It is always nice for students to have a place to go where they can relax between classes while enjoying the creature comforts of home. The department of Communication Studies, Theatre and Cinema now offers students such a place, The Living Room.
TLR is actually the basement in Potter Hall that has been fixed up as a gathering place and will be available for use by all students at Western. Assistant Professors of Theatre & Cinema, Dallas Henry and Tee Quillin, came together on the idea of cleaning out the basement in Potter Hall. Henry said they spent most of last year with students cleaning out the basement that was in total disarray.
“With the help of students, we took about two tons of stuff out of the basement,” Henry said. “And this summer Tee and I started putting together the basement, sheet rocking and painting. As we looked around and started moving things we thought ‘Wow, this could actually be a spot for students, all students.”
Henry said TLR will be a place for all students to hang out. There will be two sides, one with a cable TV and Playstation, microwave and refrigerator. The other side has a TV and couches to sit on. There will be a live feed from the theater, so they can watch the show from both TVs to see when their cues are coming. There will also be a live feed in the Potter Hall lobby, so if a patron comes to watch the show and has to step out, they can watch it on the TV.
Students will be able to rent movies from Henry’s personal DVD collection and there will also be a Netflix account.
TLR was made possible through means of bargaining with different departments. Henry, along with others, donated a lot of their own personal stuff to make it happen, and the Student Government Association helped out with some of the money needed for purchasing several of the finishing touches to the project. SGA’s contributed over $6,700, used to buy a refrigerator, televisions, furniture and other finishing touches to make the project stand out.
In short, TLR was a big collective effort put together by the work and donations of those wanting to make it happen.
Sarah Noe was one student that really worked hard painting. Noe is a senior majoring in Theatre & Cinema at Western.
“I popped in my iPod and started painting the green room; it took me six and a half hours, and I was there until 2 a.m,” she said. “It was work that had to be done, and I had the ability to do it. That’s the mentality of a lot of people in the Theatre & Cinema department: We see something that needs to be done, and we do it to the best of our ability.”
Having TLR will set Western apart from other schools and their Theatre departments.
“I think it raises the bar of quality and will bring the community in, that will see the difference in quality and that’s what it provides,” Henry said.
Matt Wright is just one of the students who put forth a lot of time putting TLR together.
“I think it’s just a wonderful addition, and all in all, for the whole campus, it’s just going to be a great place to come to,” Wright said.
Henry said that work on TLR started in February of last year and should be completed around the middle of October. TLR will be open daily from 8a.m. to 5p.m. and may even be open on weekends, but there are security issues to be considered before, or if that happens.