- PHOTO BY DANIEL J. KUSHNER
- RIT's Board of Trustees Chairman Jeff Harris, School of the Performing Arts Director Erica Haskell, President David Munson, and NTID Director of Dance Thomas Warfield celebrate the groundbreaking of a new theater on campus with members of the RIT Concert Band. on Sept. 6, 2023.
The 750-seat, two-balcony venue, which will also include a rehearsal hall and costume and scene shops, is intended as the primary home for musical theater productions, while also serving medium-sized audiences for concerts and other community events.
The $74.4 million theater is part of RIT’s capital bond project and represents the university’s dual commitment to STEM and the performing arts.
“Our students need not choose between their passion for the arts and their desire to pursue a different career field,” said RIT President David MuNson at Wednesday’s groundbreaking. “We envision an education where engineers and scientists pursue performance, Techies tackle the humanities, and artists learn to code. This is about fostering curiosity, discovery, innovation, and teamwork.”
RIT’s population includes more than 1,800 students who receive performing arts scholarships. Erica Haskell, the director of the School of the Performing Arts, wants the productions presented at the new theater to reflect the school’s cross-pollination of technology and the arts.
“This building will serve as center stage in the already flourishing performing arts ecosystem, the largest of our performing venues on campus,” Haskell said. “We anticipate productions and concerts in the music performance theater will be infused with cutting edge technologies enabled through cross-college interdisciplinary collaborations.”
The theater, designed by the Los Angeles-based firm Michael Maltzan Architecture, will be three stories tall and occupy 40,000 square feet.
For more information on the forthcoming theater, go to rit.edu.
Daniel J. Kushner is an arts writer at CITY. He can be reached at [email protected].