Back to all news stories

Exhibitions and Events

U-M's Student Theatre Arts Complex celebrates 40th anniversary

By Alana Valko

For 40 years, the University of Michigan’s Student Theatre Arts Complex (STAC) has provided a space for over 20 student and community theatrical organizations to rehearse and build their shows. 

In the 70s, U-M did not have a space for student theatrical organizations operating outside of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, and because there were so many growing theatrical groups, the STAC pre-production facility became a necessity on campus.

Student groups utilizing the facility receive technical support, access to tools and materials, use of stock scenery, dedicated storage and drafting facilities.The space consists of a scenery shop, costume shop, three rehearsal spaces with pianos and wall mirrors, offices and storage areas. 

The scenery shop provides students with large power tools, platforms and scenic flats to build their sets, and a room for hand tools and rigging hardware. The costume shop contains three sewing machines and measuring supplies.

“Our motto is that we pretty much have everything an organization would need to put on a show, and if we don’t have it, we can get it. We are here as a resource,” says Mark Haviland, who has been the program manager for STAC for almost 20 years. 

Many organizations are currently preparing their fall shows and performances in the space, including Groove, Gilbert & Sullivan Society (UMGASS), Galens Smoker, Rude Mechanicals, M-Rhythm, and a range of U-M acapella and dance groups. 

“With our facility, our students are able to put on shows that really push the envelope,” says Haviland. The space has been able to provide resources for large production shows like “Singing in the Rain” and “Hairspray.” This year, students are already working on MUSKET’s production of “The Wiz” that will premiere in the spring.

The pre-production facility operates on south campus in the south end of the Facilities Services Building B across from the Michigan football stadium. To celebrate the STAC’s role in the performing arts community the past 40 years, join the STAC (1201 Kipke Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48109) for an open house, which will be held Saturday, Oct. 19, 3–6:00pm in the space. The event is free and open to the public. 

Continue Reading