Student Arts Org. Feature: LAB! Theatre

By Erin Wadsworth

We had the opportunity to chat (virtually!) with Olivia Herrera, one of the Executive Directors of LAB! Theatre. Read on to learn about the organization and how to get involved.

Arts Everywhere: What does LAB! do?
Olivia Herrera: LAB! provides admission-free theatre while empowering artists to create and take risks. In a normal world, LAB! puts on 4-6 mainstage shows and hosts several special events every year, so there are plenty of opportunities to get involved whether you’re an actor, director, writer, into tech or administration!

Two students embrace
Production of Constellation, 2018 Spring, photo taken by Caroline Almy

AE: How has COVID changed how LAB! is running programs/events?
OH: This year, LAB! has been making the transition to virtual theatre all while learning what the creation of art looks like in an online world. We are being very conscious of the fact theatre is a connective tissue between people and stories, so LAB! has been finding new ways to create connections. During this COVID semester we have developed an ambassador program, been a member of the UNC Student Theatre Collaboration and continued to put on virtual shows and table readings!

A person stands on stage at a mike
Event: Live Reading of Erotic Fiction, 2019 Spring, photo taken by Michael Sparks

AE: What has been your favorite memory with LAB! so far?
OH: I think what’s challenging about this question is that I have so many fond memories of working with LAB! and I have so many people that I have met because of LAB! that will be a part of my life forever. If I had to pick one memory I think it would be from when I first joined LAB! Board. When I went to my first board meeting, 5:15pm in Center of Dramatic Art studio 103. I was sitting there, nervous because I was in a room of talented strangers, and the moment the meeting began, I realized that I had nothing to be nervous about. I was in a room of people who respected each other, and I realized that we are all learning. They were friends, supporting each other through the crazy time of college, all while coming together to foster the creation of art. They were people who made me feel instantly welcome and comfortable. That feeling is my favorite LAB! memory because that feeling never went away because, from then on, I always had LAB!. That is the feeling I want new Labbies to have when they meet us.

Production of This is our Youth, 2019 Fall, photo taken by Caroline Almy

Production of This is our Youth, 2019 Fall, photo taken by Caroline Almy

AE: How can students join LAB!?
OH: There is always stuff happening that people can get involved in. To find out about what’s happening with LAB! you can follow us on Facebook (@labtheatrecompany) or email us at for information! You can also sign up for our ambassador program through this form. In this program you’ll be paired with a LAB! board member who can talk to you about LAB!, theatre in general, and just be a friend at UNC!


LAB! Theatre Logo


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