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B.3.b  Configurations. 

Our facilities in Beegle Hall, now include the scene shop, tool room, welding bay, materials storage areas, design studio, costume storage, and office space for the Technical Director.  Our lighting matainance and storage room is located backstage in the Bach Theatre.  Other storage needs, including the properties inventory, is accommodated in the HR Building on West Nickerson Street.

The 1986 renovation of McKinley Auditorium was the cause of major celebration for the arts on campus.  Theatre and music, of course, received a revitalized performance space, and care was taken to integrate the visual arts, graphically illustrating the inseparability and integrative nature of the arts.  Perhaps nothing can demonstrate the celebratory enthusiasm of the time better than the description of the renovation which appeared in the printed program for the dedication service.  It still reflects the important connectedness of our performance facility:

McKinley has always been a place of action and interaction—a people place,  Throughout the design and remodeling process, particular care has been taken to insure the facility be true to that heritage.  The ultimate goal has been to restore the building’s pride and allow it to function as the heart of campus communal activity.


The success of this renovation ideal is evident in the surrounding spaces.


The human interaction theme is immediately apparent in the enlarged and airy lobby.  A wonderfully sculptural space, this is a place for people to mingle; a place offering the delight of moving “around” and “through” and “up” to the auditorium.


Open stairways, ticketing, coat-check and conversation areas combine to ori­ent the space to human interaction.  And dominating all else, in a controlled explosion of color, hangs a master weaving that expresses the sheer joy of creativity.


In the Bach Theatre for the Performing Arts, an open, flexible-configuration platform thrusts into the audience area.  The 251-seat amphitheater em­braces it, daringly creating “ritual space” in a room designed for immediate audience and performer involvement.


As you enter, the eye is irresistibly drawn to the platform and then to the arc of seats.  The combined effect invites participation in the event to come.  The colors are purposely muted to focus the line of contact to and from the plat­form.  The intimate proximity of artist and audience greatly enhances the musical and theatrical experience.


Flexibility is a key requirement in a multiple-use campus theatre.  Insuring this are a hydraulically-operated forestage, movable stage walls, a computer controlled digital lighting system and a highly sophisticated sound, television and communications network.  More than a mile of wirework is hidden in these walls!


Downstairs, the Dorothy Boyd Kreider Gallery underlines the university’s conviction that art and performance are inseparable.  The Kreider gallery is a distinctive showplace for student and faculty visual art presentations.  New installations here are coordinated with the openings of major performance events in the building.


Adjoining the gallery is the Studio Theatre, an adaptable “black box” produc­tion space.  Other uses include rehearsals, acting, movement and directing classes, and exhibit space for conferences sponsored by the university.  A fully-equipped, adjacent kitchen facilitates receptions that often accompany recitals and plays.


The Performance Laboratories, a cluster of rooms not ordinarily accessible to the public, include the Costume Construction Laboratory, the Make-up Laboratory, men’s and women’s Dressing Rooms (with lavatories and show­ers), and the Green Room, a performer/student lounge.  The labs provide vital support for the two performance areas.


Completing the design of the building for interactive learning are four faculty offices and a conference room.


McKinley Hall’s renovation provides Seattle Pacific with its first space specifi­cally designed for artistic performance.  In it our campus artists enjoy an en­vironment which challenges them to explore and share their talents, to per­fect technique and presentation and to render unto God the gifts He has loaned to them.

The florid description above reveals the manner in which the remodeling was designed to express—through architecture—a philosophy of the social nature of theatre.  Our performance space is sculptural, not painterly, emphasizing the three-dimensional qualities of the performer.  Similarly, our audience space is sculptural, leading the audience member to share with others.  We are one of the fortunate few theatre companies have the opportunity to present such a totally integrated experience to their audiences.  And though many of the individuals who attend our productions are not cognoscente of the effects being worked on them—that’s one of the goals of theatre production isn’t it?—most will remark on how much they enjoy coming to the building. 

The weaving by Art Professor Larry Metcalf which hangs in the theatre lobby is a companion piece to the tapestry displayed in the Miller Science Learning Center, now Otto M. Miller Hall  That piece seeks to express the control and precision of the sciences.  Ours, relating directly to the arts, is entitled “Sunrise/Sunset,” and seeks to suggest through its shapes and colors that a sunset exists inside every sunrise.  My end is in my beginning.  Every creative act has a concept, execution and product which are all of one piece; no artistic product without the initial creative vision.  Its textures are loose and at once tightly woven, the central experience open and colorful, but against a background of ordered activity.  It is bold, striking, nearly overwhelming in its assault on the senses.  It elicits strong responses, almost demanding to be touched, absorbed. 

As with all artistic artifacts, plays included, you are not encumbered with the obligation to like the tapestry, but only to attempt to understand it and let it be what it is intended to be.  And to celebrate its addition to the world.

Next Section: B4a: Production Patterns

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