Construction on New Black Box Theater Set for Spring

Construction is slated to begin next month on a $4.5 million, 10,500 square-foot black box theater on Seitz Street, next to the School of Music. A groundbreaking ceremony for the campus community is scheduled for Tuesday, April 1.

The upper level of the red brick-and-glass structure will include a main entrance and lobby, a theater seating up to 160, a rehearsal hall and a mobile ticket counter. The theater’s lower level will feature dressing rooms, set building shops, costume storage, mechanical/electrical rooms, offices and a green room.

A black box theater is a relatively small, flexible, simple performance space that typically features a large square room with walls and floors that have been painted black to avoid clashing with scenery or costumes. The new theater will have portable risers and seats to allow set designers and show directors to configure seating to each event.

The new theater will be used by Duquesne’s Red Masquers, Spotlight Musical Theater Company, School of Music ensembles as well as performance and production classes.

“In keeping with the University’s commitment to sustainability and good environmental stewardship, the new theater will be fitted with energy-conscious lighting controllers and an efficient white roof that may provide a decrease in the building’s cooling costs,” said Rod Dobish, executive director of facilities management.

The theater is expected to be operational for the 2015-2016 academic year.