Burton Taylor Studio
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The Burton Taylor Studio ("The BT") is a 50-seat studio theatre owned by Oxford University. It is situated on Gloucester Street, off Beaumont Street in Oxford, United Kingdom close to the Oxford Playhouse, a larger professional theatre, which manages the Burton Taylor Studio on behalf of the University. The theatre is named after Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.
It plays host to numerous, small-budget productions often starring Oxford students,as well as examined productions at the GCSE and A levels by local schools and colleges. Recent notable productions have included a staging of the play The Second Maiden's Tragedy, which Charles Hamilton claimed to be Cardenio, a lost play attributed to William Shakespeare and John Fletcher.
In 1966, Richard Burton donated money towards the creation of a rehearsal space, also occasionally used for performance, named the Burton Rooms. A couple of decades later, students from the Oxford University Dramatic Society (OUDS) established the current tradition of the venue as a home for regular student productions. It has since undergone many changes, including renaming from the Burton Taylor Theatre to the Burton Taylor Studio.
The Burton Taylor Studio programs a mix of student and professional productions throughout the year. The student productions that take place during Oxford University terms are usually programmed with two shows each week, performing as an 'early slot' and a 'late slot' each evening and students must bid for the slots with a play and production team during the preceding term. Professional productions span a range of genres including comedy, new writing, music, dance and family shows. These productions are generally programmed outside of University terms and show preference to local Oxfordshire artists and companies.
The studio is a small black box theatre with a moveable seating stand, giving a flexible seating arrangement that allows pretty much any set up including in the round. It has a capacity of 50 and no backstage or wing space, with a green room on the floor below. It is equipped with a full overhead lighting rig, an extensive lantern stock and a new Element lighting board, as well as various sound equipment. It is often viewed as a training ground of sorts by Oxford students, because of its small scale and the professional support on offer from theatre staff.
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