By Grant Welker
LOWELL -- The Merrimack Repertory Theater and UMass Lowell have expanded their partnership to share resources and give students more access to theater professionals.
The partnership, announced Tuesday, will include having Merrimack Repertory Theater staff and artists visit UMass Lowell classes or provide guest lectures. University students will have opportunities to participate in workshops in which the theater's play writer, director and designer will refine scripts.
Students will also be encouraged to participate in production and administrative internships at the theater, and will be given discounted tickets to performances.
Both partners said they hope to grow their partnership over time, offering more opportunities for theater staff and artists and students to work closely with one another.
This fall, the University partnered with the theater on a production of the play "Chill," by Brookline native Eleanor Burgess.
"As we continue to grow as a cultural and civic leader, it was crucial for us to deepen our relationship with the largest institution in town," Sean Daniels, the theater's artistic director, said in a statement.
The theater, which started in 1979, is one of only three such operations in Massachusetts that are part of the League of Resident Theatres.
Another cultural offering with ties to UMass Lowell, the Greater Lowell Music Theater, halted operations last spring. It held performances at the University's Durgin Hall.