A very unique and special thing about Brown theatre is that students have a great deal of responsibility in the theatre season as a whole. The season is actually selected by a student and faculty board, the Sock and Buskin Board, who work together throughout the year to plan the next year’s slate of plays and theatre productions and to produce the current year. Students are more numerous than faculty on the board and so have a greater vote when the final season is decided – a situation unmatched at any other university we know of! Our philosophy: if we’re working productively with our students in classes, we should respect them enough to design a vital and invigorating season. And we do! And they do!
Each year Sock and Buskin, or "S&B," chooses the Sock & Buskin Season, consisting of four mainstage theatrical shows and one mainstage dance performance to be produced during the following academic year, as well as a fifth show, the “senior slot.” Senior slot, determined by faculty who select from proposals submitted by junior concentrators, is a mainstage show running for one week and is open to juniors who wish to direct or write a full production of their choosing in their senior year. You can keep up with Sock and Buskin on their blog or by following them on Twitter.
Sock and Buskin was founded in 1901 by Professor Thomas Crosby of the Brown University English Department. There has since been an unbroken record of seasons, first at the Providence Opera House and various theatres in downcity Providence, then in Rockefeller Hall, and finally in 1931 at the Faunce House Theatre, which was restored and reopened as Stuart Theatre in 1993. When the Isabelle Russek Leeds Theatre and Ashamu Dance Studio were built in 1979, they joined the Stuart Theatre and together became the Catherine Bryan Dill Center for the Performing Arts.
In 1927, Sock and Buskin, which was at the time an all-male organization, began using actresses in its productions. Soon Komians, the all-female theatrical group from Pembroke college, merged with Sock and Buskin to create the co-ed group that exists today.
When S&B isn't reading plays in the Becker, they support production staff by running auditions, assisting construction of sets and costumes, and publicizing S&B happenings around campus. It's a great way for students to get involved in the department and learn about the different aspects of producing theatre. Tuesday meetings are open to the public and visitors are welcomed.
To suggest a play for our season or to request more information send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also drop a script or just a note with a title in the suggestion box outside the Brown Theatre Box Office in the Leeds Theatre lobby.