The Theatre Arts Department and Central Theatre Ensemble are housed in the stately McConnell Hall, which underwent a $2.1 million renovation completed in the fall of 2003. Fueled primarily by health and safety concerns, the renovation improved and reorganized existing spaces to provide a more user-friendly and, most importantly, safe working environment.
Because theatre is a collaborative, fluid and multi-faceted art form, majors in this department spend limited time in traditional classrooms. Your education begins in the shops and studios and culminates in fully stage productions.
McConnell Auditorium: Click on images for larger hi-res. photos.
A classic 750-seat proscenium theatre, this space was the major focus of a 2003 renovation, with additional upgrades in 2005 and 2006. Among the improvements: two new lighting catwalks; a 31-line single-purchase counterweight fly system; a new stage floor with traps; Marley dance floor, all new electrics, which includes over three miles of electric conduit; 288 dimmers; new draperies; new cyc lighting; a new inventory of ETC Source 4 lights; 18 Wybron Forerunner Color Scrollers (16 color); state-of-the-art Mackie 48-channel soundboard; and ETC Ion lighting console was added in 2011.
Milo Smith Tower Theatre: Click on images for larger hi-res. photos.
Adaptable black box theatre seats 240 in the thrust and 340 in the round with a control booth and 192 dimmers. Recent improvements include new draperies, Marley dance floor, Mackie 12-channel soundboard; a new inventory of ETC Source 4 lights; and ETC Expression lighting console.
Studio 119 (MC): Click on images for larger hi-res. photos.
This small black box studio is fully equipped with light, sound and dance mirrors. Studio 119 is an acting classroom and also serves well for rehearsals, student and Studio projects and social functions.
Studio 118 (HEB): Click on images for larger hi-res. photos.
This newly refurbished black box studio is the main acting classroom and also serves well for rehearsals of student and faculty produced Studio projects. Courses utilizing the new Rasabox training techniques are characteristic of this space.
Studio 122 (HERTZ): Click on images for larger hi-res. photos.
The most recent addition to the acting studios, opened January 2012, complete with new Allegro dance flooring, has same area as the mainstage of McConnell Hall and can be used for rehearsals of student and faculty projects, performance based courses, as well as student's personal and group rehearsal time outside of classes.
Studio 124 and 127: Vocal studios for private coaching fill the majority of the time in these identical studios. Time is also available for individual vocal and piano practice.
*Scene Shop: Click on images for larger hi-res. photos.
Fully equipped scene shop featuring a full array of woodworking tools and machines; sawdust collection system; mig, arc and gas welders; painting spray booth. Recent grant monies provided a brand new Genie Lift.
*Costume Shop: Click on images for larger hi-res. photos.
With 9 floor-length windows, CWU boasts one of the biggest and best equipped University costume facility in the Northwest. Features include: 14 new sewing machines; two industrial sewing machines; four surgers; and patterning software
Costume Crafts Room: Click on images for larger hi-res. photos.
In addition to the Costume Shop, a separate and fully equipped Costume Crafts room was added in 2003. This room features: an industrial dye vat; a two washer/dryer laundry room; complete hat-making equipment; ventilating equipment for construction of custom-made hair pieces and ample storage and work space.
Dressing Rooms: Click on images for larger hi-res. photos.
The Department has two fully ventilated 20-person mirrored dressing rooms and three 4-person mirrored dressing rooms.
Makeup Room: The fourth small dressing room in the building has been converted into a fully-stocked makeup room. Makeup classes are held in the spacious, mirrored dressing rooms.
Drafting and Design Room: Drafting tables provide optimal environment for students to succeed in drafting, rendering and design courses.
*Marketing Office: Click on images for larger hi-res. photos.
Known affectionately as the "Fabby Lab" this facility is a unique feature seldom found in the university setting. Students can participate in all aspects of marketing related to the vibrant and exciting Bachelor programs, unique limited-residency Master of Arts program and the professionally-modeled and always entertaining Central Theatre Ensemble production season. More than 50,000 pieces of mail are sent from the Fabby Lab annually.
*Lighting Shop: Click on images for larger hi-res. photos.
Home base for the dedicated faculty and students who shed light on CTE productions. The focus of this season's annual fundraising campaign is new lighting equipment to enhance existing inventory, which includes four High End Systems intelligent lighting fixtures.
*Box Office: ONLINE ticketing!! Check it out here
Green Room: Click on images for larger hi-res. photos.
Equipped with intercom system to serve both McConnell Auditorium and the Milo Smith Tower Theatre. Closed-circuit broadcast is also streamed in during McConnell Auditorium productions, so you never miss a cue!
Conference Room and Student Computer Lab: The conference room provides ample space for design and production meetings. Four computers offer students a place to do production, design work for the CTE season, and document completion of education certification standards.
McConnell 117: Click on images for larger hi-res. photos.
Our one traditional classroom space in McConnell Hall, the room was recently refitted with state-of-the-art, internet accessible, video and projection systems.
*Student employment opportunities available.