The Arcadia Foundation awarded a $91,000 grant to the University for the renovation of the Black Box Theater in support of Arcadia’s growing Theater Arts program. The grant will transform this performance space, dedicated by the Class of 1968 in celebration of its 45-year reunion, for emerging student artists and the University community, as well as for theatergoers from the surrounding community.
Professor Emerita Dr. Barbara Nodine, a dedicated supporter of the Theater Arts program, led outreach efforts to secure funding from The Arcadia Foundation.
Arcadia introduced the Bachelor of Fine Arts and launched a revival of theater programming during the tenure of President Emerita Dr. Bette E. Landman ’04H, who led the University from 1985 to 2004. Dr. Landman, a lifelong champion of liberal arts education and president of The Arcadia Foundation, has seen her commitment to visual and performing arts flourish thanks to support from the University community.
On campus, the Theater Arts program continues to evolve. Facilitated by the introduction of the Musical Theater concentration in 2017, enrollment has increased steadily with prospective students from Maine, Massachusetts, Florida, and Vermont making the journey to Arcadia for auditions. Seeking to fulfill the needs of aspiring artists, the program unveiled a robust production schedule that includes moving from a four-show to a six-show season during the 2019-20 academic year. This season’s fifth show, Hedda Gabler, will debut in Grey Towers Castle’s Mirror Room this March.
Assistant Professor Mark Wade, artistic director and co-chair of the Theater Arts program, believes that the Black Box expansion will bring the stage closer to young audiences while breaking down the figurative fourth wall.
“We hope to have an alternate performance space that creates opportunities for more personal connections to what is happening on the stage,” said Wade.