Join sophomore Jade Joyce as she takes you through the Kennedy Center for Theatre and the Studio Arts.
Teeming with natural light, the Kennedy Center’s flexible, open areas invite collaboration and discussion, while its smaller spaces accommodate individual study and reflection. The 83,000-square-foot building was designed by Machado and Silvetti Associates, the same architect that drew up the plans for the neighboring Wellin Museum of Art. The center is named in honor of life trustee and chairman emeritus Kevin Kennedy ’70 and his wife, Karen.
A student works in the drawing room of the Kennedy Center.
Each senior art concentrator has a studio where the pristine white walls are already filling with ideas for works in progress. There are 24 senior spaces positioned throughout a huge room that captures natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows and skylights.
Students rehearse August Strindberg’s A Dream Play in dream digs — the state-of-the-art Romano Theatre, which was designed for unfettered creativity. Combining elements of a flexible, “black box” theatre with distinctive permanent architectural features, the space has a character all its own.
Romano Theatre features include rolling catwalks for freedom in lighting design and a floor trap for easy transport of scenery and equipment from the room below.
In the spacious acting studio, students emote with Associate Professor of Theatre Mark Cryer. They are steps away from the Barrett Lab Theatre, the ideal space for workshops and senior projects.
The new scene shop has elbowroom, bountiful light and the necessary machinery to bring sets to life. Here, Thomas Marhenke, director of technical theatre, works with two students.
The Kennedy Arts Center at night
Assistant Professor of Art Robert Knight and students discuss photography techniques.
Students hang works in the critique space in the studio arts section of the Kennedy Center. The space, with its floor-to-ceiling windows on two facing sides, doubles as a small gallery.
Students are doing just what center planners had in mind — studying, relaxing, congregating and collaborating in the common space.
Looking down through a dramatic ovoid cutout, there’s a glimpse of the first-floor common space in the theatre wing. Light pours in through the building’s massive wall of 145 windows as students gather on colorful, modern-style furniture.
Students engage in acting exercises in the Barrett Lab Theatre with some onlookers from above. The enclosed, grid-like catwalk provides complete access, as well as extra security, for students honing skills in lighting design.
The Romano and the Barrett theatres share a box office and coat room, a spacious backstage area, costume and prop storage, a full scene shop and three basement-level dressing rooms.
In the sculpture classroom, students are well into their projects under the guidance of Associate Professor of Art Rebecca Murtaugh. The sculpture room is flanked by the wood workshop and the hot workshop for metals and ceramics.
Associate Professor of Art Ella Gant and her students in the digital suite classroom, which is equipped with 16 computer workstations configured with professional software for editing photo, video and audio projects.
Student artists work on sketches in the amphitheatre area outside the center.
Students at computers in the new digital arts suite at the Kennedy Center.