Celebratory event marks new home for Millikin's School of Theatre & Dance
A ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 17, 2020, marked a celebration of Millikin University's newest building, the Center for Theatre & Dance. The celebratory event of the new home for Millikin's 美术学院 and School of Theatre & Dance was also an opportunity to thank the supporters of the project and the community of Decatur, Ill.
For several months, the Millikin University campus community witnessed a change in scenery with the construction of the new Center for Theatre & Dance, all starting with a groundbreaking back on May 18, 2018. This past August, the doors to the $29 million building were opened to students, faculty and staff.
"The Center for Theatre & Dance represents more than just a state-of-the-art building designed to provide Millikin students with high-quality Performance Learning experiences. It is a structural recognition of the importance of the visual and performing arts in our lives and in our community," said 米利总裁博士。吉姆雷诺. "By undertaking and completing this project through the generosity of our alumni and other friends, Millikin University has reaffirmed the value that theatre and dance holds in our daily lives. I'm very excited for our faculty, staff and students, both current and prospective, to fill the building with their exceptional talent and to make it a place of creativity and learning."
Located at the former site of the Richards Treat University Center, the Center for Theatre & Dance features a 260-seat flexible theatre, including an orchestra pit, balcony and tech gallery with a tension wire grid. The new building also features lighting and sound labs, a costume studio, a costume classroom, collaboration spaces, acting studios, design classrooms, practice rooms, modern theatre equipment and offices and support facilities for current staff, with room for growth. The innovative facility has become the new face of the School of Theatre & Dance.
"Students will be able to learn performance, directing, design, production and management in all new spaces equipped with the latest technology," said Mary Black, director of the School of Theatre & Dance. "The new Center will do more than facilitate the needs of our current students and programs. It will allow us to continue to grow and excel as we prepare students for their lives as theatre artists."
The Center for Theatre & Dance was one of three building projects under Millikin University's $85 million "Transform MU" capital campaign (TMU). Thanks to visionary and generous alumni and community leaders, as well as the investment of University resources by Millikin's 受托人董事会, the facility was realized with a groundbreaking two years ago.
"One of the founding design elements was to see and be seen. People on campus and in the community can actually see what's happening in and around the space as students work on planned and impromptu performances in places ranging from the lobby to the outdoor covered patio," said John Whitlock, principal with BLDD Architects. "Even though they had no dedicated facility to put them on the map, Millikin's School of Theatre & Dance continued to produce high-quality graduates and created a program that ranked in the top 10 nationally. With the resources provided by the new Center for Theatre & Dance, we believe Millikin can become the best theatre program in the nation."
From left to right: Millikin student Ramsey Folkerts '24; Laura Ledford, dean of the 美术学院; Mary Black, director of the School of Theatre & Dance; Millikin student Alex Saviano '22
White added, "From the 受托人董事会, to the faculty and staff who worked so hard to make this happen, to our partners in construction and design – everyone who made the Center for Theatre & Dance a wonderful building."
Fundraising efforts are ongoing to support the Center for Theatre & Dance. For more information about the new facility and the School of Theatre & Dance, visit www.netcli.com/theatre.