Hopkins Black Box theatre | LSU Department of Communication Studies

HopKins Black Box


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About the HBB

The Mary Frances HopKins Black Box is LSU's only not-for-profit experimental theatre and performance laboratory classroom. The HBB was established in 1992 by Dr. Mary Frances HopKins with the purpose of providing LSU students and faculty with a place to ask questions—unimpeded and with passion—through the practice of live performance.

The HBB is housed in the LSU Department of Communication Studies, is managed by the department's Performance Studies area, and is operated by a community of volunteers.



Not-for-profit experimental theatre


Undergraduate student Michal Sextion (L) and Ph.D. student
Ethan Hunter (R) designing lights in the HBB.

Each year the HBB produces a season of public performances. Our seasons privilege experimentation over convention and can feature productions ranging from informal workshop presentations, to performance showcases that frequently highlight classroom work, to multi-media installations, to fully staged scripts written or adapted by the performer or director. 


The HBB boasts a state-of-the-art technological environment with many opportunities for students and faculty to learn about and experiment with the various elements of stage production. The wealth of technology in the HBB enriches the production experience and value of our performances while providing the HBB community with hands-on experience with the design and operation of stage lighting, sound, and projection.


Current Season




Performance laboratory classroom


Students in Dr. N. Eda Erçin's CMST 4147: Body Performance
Culture class celebrate completing their final performances.

Each semester the HBB hosts an array of CMST courses in Performance Studies. Our course curriculum addresses four main trajectories in Performance Studies:

  • everyday life and cultural performance
  • stage adaptations of texts and other materials
  • avant-garde and performance art
  • film and multimedia performance

Current Courses




Stay connected with us on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok with our handle @lsuhbb.


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"This theatre our own version of the wooden O in which Shakespeare once called upon his audience and performers to collaborate in daydreams is at once a space for movement and a place for pause . . . our corner of the world, which sometimes allows us to see that world differently or more clearly, a place licensed and privileged to be devoured by the imaginary. It is our classroom and our laboratory, a place to research, experiment, succeed, fail, change, grow, stammer, articulate, collaborate, argue, persuade, be ourselves and try on others, invent, rehearse, read aloud, interpret, novelize, present, re-present, perform. It is a gift we cherish every day, and its values are an extension of the values Dr. HopKins has so gracefully, and in her singular manner, bestowed, and continues to bestow, upon us. It is thus most appropriately named, HopKins."

— Dr. Patricia A. Suchy
Dedication of the HopKins Black Box (2 February 2002)