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Ent Center for the Arts is Now Open

Chapman Recital Hall at UCCS. Photo: David Lauer.

The University of Colorado in Colorado Springs celebrated the rapidly growing campus's ongoing commitment to its Department of Visual and Performing Arts with the opening of the Ent Center for the Arts on February 3. Long before the design of the now fully-realized arts center existed, the school's facilities, including THEATREWORKS -- the university's professional resident company -- were spread over a broad, disjointed map across the campus. The Ent Center marks a huge milestone for UCCS, putting a vibrant, cohesive, and unified public face on the arts by bringing together theatrical and musical venues, as well as numerous other arts spaces. Auerbach Pollock Friedlander provided programming, planning, and theatre consulting services for four performance venues in the new building, working in conjunction with design architects H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture and Semple Brown, the architect of record.

Auerbach Pollock Friedlander's scope of work included theatre planning and systems design for the 774-seat Shockley-Zalabak Theater; the 242-seat Chapman Foundations Recital Hall; the Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater -- a 300-seat "courtyard-inspired" home venue for THEATREWORKS; as well as the Osborne Studio Theater, an intimate black box venue for undergrad theatre department productions with seating up to 100.

For the Shockley-Zalabak Theater, Auerbach Pollock Friedlander proposed an open proscenium, linking the stage with the audience chamber. With the concept of an acoustically transparent proscenium, and by utilizing coupled acoustic volumes, live music from the stage is allowed to permeate through the arch, rather than being partially trapped behind a traditional proscenium. Working closely with Jaffe Holden, the acoustical consultant, the venue's orchestra shell enclosure was designed to complement this concept and be a visual continuation of the auditorium's architectural elements. The lack of a formal fly tower was specific to the venue's music-friendly design, with variable acoustics to allow for convocations and speaker events.

While the community will enjoy new prospects for entertainment on campus, students will benefit from expanded programs in theatre and dance, as well as the opportunities for more hands-on production experiences than ever before. The Ent Center for the Arts opening gala included space dedications and performances from a wide array of entertainers.


(9 February 2018)

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