After many years of producing exciting theatre seasons in our historic spaces in Reynolds Hall, the Theatre Department is thrilled to now be housed in the university’s new (opened in summer 2020), state-of-the-art facility the Center for the Arts.
This 36,750-square-foot building is located at the intersection of Oak Street and North Boundary Street, and is unique among collegiate facilities in the state of Alabama. It features two performance venues, an art gallery, a digital fabrication lab, design labs with animation software, multiple classrooms, Theatre faculty offices, vocal performance rehearsal rooms, a voice studio, a large dance studio, state-of-the-art production shops, a sculpture garden, an outdoor commons area and adjacent ground-level parking.
The facility’s impact will stretch far beyond the College of Fine Arts, as it was designed to provide services to the University and community as a whole and will have a positive economic and cultural impact on the entire community. Working in this innovative facility will provide students the opportunity to work with equipment and technology used by professional theatre companies and other arts organizations, preparing them for both summer and full-time employment in the field which will make them competitive in a higher paying job market. The large mainstage theatre space in particular will require more production crew members, and will include training students to use the fly-rail, 2 ETC ION lighting console, a brand new LED curtain, 4K movie projector and projection screen, digital mapping with projectors, and state-of-the-art Midas sound consoles for both performance spaces.
Our new scene shop is now equipped with state-of-the-art metal working tools including a CNC milling machine, a metal lathe, a tubing roller, 3 new welders, and an Iron worker. These tools give the faculty the ability to teach students how to make large and dramatic set pieces that are usually reserved for professional companies. The new Digital Fabrication Lab comes with 3 different types of 3D printers, a new large format laser cutter, a Vacuuform machine, a high-speed die cutting machine, 3 large format printers, and 3d modeling/scanning stations.
Our new costume shop has been equipped with industry-grade special equipment including dye-vats, which will give students the necessary training needed to pursue careers in Theatre and help to make them competitive in the higher paying job markets. The shop has large windows that let in natural light, which is so important to gauge colors and textures.
The Center for the Arts has also helped the University of Montevallo achieve Associate Membership and accreditation in the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).
Broad World Article – UM Center for the Arts