The word “lab” evokes images of test tubes and white coats, beakers and microscopes. Florida Atlantic University is cooking up a different type of creativity at Theatre Lab, a professional resident company dedicated to fostering new plays. Established by South Florida theater superstar Louis Tyrrell in the fall of 2015, Theatre Lab operates out of FAU’s Parliament dormitory building, allowing students the chance to work alongside established actors, directors, and writers. In its inaugural season, the company’s output upstaged its modest setting, attracting world-renowned playwrights with the promise of developing new works through staged readings, post-show discussions, and critical workshops. Theatre Lab is not just beneficial to the artists—it also invites the audience into the creative process, instilling a better understanding of what a play goes through before the curtain rises. This year, three previously incubated plays will receive full productions, signaling another phase of this great theatrical experiment.
Theatre Lab Artistic Director Louis Tyrrell (left) and Associate Artistic Director Matt Stabile work alongside playwrights to perfect their scripts.