Kami and I went in search of the Loft Theatre. To tell you the truth, it was an area of campus I had never ventured into – the vast space above the basketball court in the Curtin Student Center (aka the Carriage House and Astor Hall).
We could have entitled this post “the more things change…” because what we found is probably pretty close to what students found in the late sixties: a large hidden area of campus filled with assorted bric a brac and a lot of potential.
Of course, we’re only talking about the physical loft. The Loft Theatre moved on to the Performing Arts Center in the early 1970s when the old Vanderbilt power house was refurbished into a black box space. Theatre is alive at Dowling to this day in the form of the contemporary Loft Theatre headed by Prof. Andrew Karp.
So for now, take a look at the video that Kami shot on our excursion. I added in a few explanatory excerpts from oral history interviews with Ned Bobkoff, Marianne Accardi Giardini, and George Worthmore. The color photos are courtesy of Ned Bobkoff and the rest were taken from Dowling College yearbooks. I’ve added the names of the shows being performed and their authors.
According to Diane and her South Shore History wiki, the building you’re looking at was built in 1882; those beams overhead are therefore over one hundred and twenty years old. I don’t know the date of the small bit of graffiti you’ll see in the last shot but I like to think it was scribbled there in 1969 for us to find forty years later – a message from the past that makes a nice coda for our history of the Loft Theatre.