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Black box theater

The black-box is a relatively recent innovation in the theater, describing a simple, somewhat unadorned performance space, usually a large square room with black walls. Such spaces are easily built and maintained, and are usually home to plays or other performances with very basic technical arrangements-- limited sets, simple lighting effects, and an intimate focus on the story, writing, and performances rather than more costly and extravagent production values[?]. The black-box also offers great versatility in staging and audience seating arrangements, allowng the entire space to be adapted to the artistic elements of a production. The black-box theatre is especially favored by colleges and other theatre training programs, because the space is versatile and easy to change from one production to another.

Black-box theatres became popular and wide spread particularly in the 1960s and 1970s, during which low cost experimental theatre was being actively practiced as never before. Since almost any warehouse or open space in any building can be transformed into a black-box, the appeal for non-profit and low income artists is high. The black-box is also considered by many to be a place where more "pure" theatre can be explored, with the most human and least technical elements being in focus.

See also Black box, the technical term.

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