School of Theatre and Dance dedicates EZ Black Box Theatre


Students perform a musical number from “Chicago” during a rehearsal for the EZ Black Box Theatre dedication in the Music and Speech Center on Wednesday. The theatre is being dedicated to former theater professors Louis Erdmann and William Zucchero on Friday. Photo by Jessica Yanesh.

Brooke Bower

EZ Black Box Theatre Dedication

  • Friday: Dedication, 7:15 p.m., $15, reception following
  • Saturday: Student Theatre Festival and tribute, 8 p.m., free
  • Sunday: Student Theatre Festival and tribute, 2 p.m., free

The School of Theatre and Dance will dedicate the black box theatre in honor of Louis Erdmann and William Zucchero Friday in the Music and Speech Center.

“It’s going to be a fun but bittersweet night since both of them aren’t here anymore,” said Karl Erdmann, the school’s production manager, son of Louis Erdmann and director of the dedication.

The night will start at 6 p.m. with a reception for donors and family. The dedication will start at 7:15 p.m. in the lobby outside the soon to be EZ Black Box Theatre and then proceed into the theatre.

Karl Erdmann said the dedication starts with a few speeches, the uncovering of the names on the theatre doors and each family being honored. He said once inside the theatre a tribute to “Bill and Lou” will be presented with the Student Theatre Festival. The tribute portion will be presented Friday through Sunday.

“I’ve pulled shows that they directed over the 30 years they were both around (Kent State),” Karl Erdmann said. “I pulled scenes from those to present along with a music melody of 15 songs from all the time periods they were around.”

Zucchero taught at Kent State from 1954 to 1984 and Louis Erdmann taught from 1957 to 1987. Zucchero was a director and actor while Louis Erdmann started off as a technical director and light designer. Louis Erdmann transitioned into directing but still did management positions like running the box office and being a theater consultant. Both helped to create the Porthouse Theatre.

“I’m going to show some video of shows they directed and there will be copies of the programs and some photos presented,” Karl Erdmann said.

The Student Theatre Festival will include student-produced pieces. Karl Erdmann said the dedication show includes about 25 theatre students and another 20 students dancing in “Cool” from “West Side Story.”

He said Sarah Coon, senior theatre studies major, created “Waiting for Gouda,” which is about three mice looking for cheese and a humorous spoof on the play “Waiting for Godot.” Jerimie Newcomb, senior theatre studies major, is presenting the play “Land of the Dead,” written by Neil LaBute. Brian Crowley, senior theatre studies major, said dance student Ebby Howarth will be presenting “Out of my Mind,” a “really cool solo piece” that he choreographed. He will also present a piece about theater history at the dedication.

“I came up with the idea to do the history of theater in 15 minutes since it’s one of those notorious classes everyone in theater has to take to graduate,” Crowley said.

Theatre history professor Rosemarie Bank helped Crowley with the content in the piece and narrates the play. Karl Erdmann said Crowley’s piece is very funny and that it’s neat that both Zucchero and Louis Erdmann are mentioned in the history.

“It’s been a really interesting experience,” Crowley said. “It has been neat to be a part of something so special that will be going down in the (school’s) dance and theater history books.”

Contact Brooke Bower at [email protected].