After another unpredictable year, we decided to host another holiday quiz to offer a little light entertainment to friends and colleagues across the industry.
The questions focused on the vision, values, and features of some of our newest projects, but one of our main goals was to recognize the unwavering dedication and determination of our clients and collaborators for each of the featured venues. Without exception, they’ve each gone the extra mile to fulfil a vision to create new and welcoming spaces for their communities, despite all the challenges they’ve faced along the way.
We invited our winners to nominate a US-based arts, community, or educational charity and we’re absolutely delighted to make $2,000 donations to the causes and organizations that are close to their hearts. Our winners (and their chosen organizations) are:
- Joshua Fisher of Barbizon Lighting. Joshua chose to support Behind the Scenes, in support of their mental health initiative.
- Alixandra Feeley of Wheeler Opera House. Alix selected Mixed Magic Theatre to receive her prize money. Their mission is to build more literate and arts-active communities through presenting diverse stories and images.
- Cassey Stypowany of WSP. Cassey has chosen a music/theatre program at Frontier High School near Buffalo, NY to receive her donation.
If you took part in our quiz, you may be wondering which answers you answered correctly or incorrectly. We’ll be happy to send you your individual scorecard(s) if you’re interested. Just send an email to [email protected] and ask us to send it to you!
And, if you’re just looking for the answers at a glance, here they are! Correct answers are in bold.
1. Lawrenceville Arts Center
Aurora Theatre believes that a welcoming and inclusive community theatre can yield benefits in art, commerce, and community building. (We couldn’t agree more!) They’re the new operators and users of Lawrenceville Arts Center, which includes an intimate 500-seat drama theatre with one of the largest performing arts stages in the state of Georgia. Their typical programming covers everything from crowd-pleasing musicals to stand-up comedy nights, family programming, and Teatro Atlanta (Atlanta’s only professional Spanish language theatre).
How did they kick off celebrations for the October opening of their new facility?
a) Sneak-peek tours of the new facility
b) A talent contest for local schoolchildren
c) A new cabaret-style production celebrating diversity
2. Loomis Chaffee School
The Loomis Chaffee School is a renowned New England boarding school located on a 300-acre campus in Windsor, Connecticut. We’re currently working on expanding their existing performance facilities to renovate their existing NEO Theater as well as adding a studio theatre and a large dance studio.
What are the main upgrades to the NEO Theater that we’re providing?
a) Reducing the orchestra-level seat count to 120 and adding a small thrust stage
b) Replacing fixed seats with telescopic seating to allow for flat floor performances and events
c) Expanding the seating capacity to 200 and enlarging the stage
After years of dreaming, planning, and building, piano manufacturer Ravenscroft now has its own music venue in Scottsdale, Arizona! Our work on this facility was to help plan the building layout and create designs for exciting music spaces within a former warehouse and office building. The venue, known simply as Ravenscroft, boasts a stunning, state-of-the-art 200-seat recital hall, a flat-floor event and performance space, a recording studio, a piano showroom, offices, and other support spaces.
What genre of music can audiences expect to hear there?
d) Rhythm and blues
4. Fuller Middle School, Chris Walsh Performing Arts Center
We helped design a new auditorium for Fuller Middle School’s new Chris Walsh Performing Arts Center in Massachusetts. The auditorium in this three-story facility seats 420 people and is designed to inspire creativity and collaboration through a STEAM learning model for the school’s grade 6-8 students.
The entire facility is anticipated to receive LEED certification in recognition of its healthy, sustainable, efficient, and cost-saving green designs. What level of LEED certification is the project expected to achieve?
5. University of Rochester, Sloan Performing Arts Center
A new 30,000-square-foot performing arts center opened at the University of Rochester’s River Campus just in time for the fall semester this year. The Sloan Performing Arts Center is dedicated to theatre, dance, and music, and includes a 200-seat studio theatre with moveable telescopic seating risers, offering multiple staging configurations. We designed it to have a robust rigging system, four catwalks, and a technical ledge to create a blank canvas for students to engage, present, learn, and explore.
What level of support spaces were also included in the facility to support the art that happens on stage?
a) Several rehearsal rooms, including two double-height studio theatres with sprung floors for dancers to rehearse safely
b) Two large makerspaces, which can handle everything from set construction to costume building, and prop painting and storage—all while encouraging students from different disciplines to share ideas, equipment, and knowledge
c) A suite of workshops and performer support spaces—a green room, a scene shop, a costume shop, dressing rooms, and a conditioning room
d) All of the above
6. Neal S. Blaisdell Center, Waikiki Shell
Waikiki Shell is an iconic outdoor venue at the Blaisdell Center in Honolulu. Situated between Diamond Head and beautiful Waikiki Beach, the venue seats 1,958 people and has capacity for an additional 6,000 spectators on the lawn. The 65-year-old venue reopened in June 2021 after renovation and has been offering musical performances to audiences ever since.
What was our focus during the recent renovation?
a) Designing a new freestanding truss for a range of stage equipment
b) Renovating the fixed seating to improve audience comfort
c) Adding back-of-house amenities for artists and production staff
d) All of the above
1. Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Our client at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts recently announced that London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Ballet will be headlining the grand opening of the center’s third major performance space, Steinmetz Hall, on January 14. Musicians Jennifer Hudson, Leon Bridges, and Lyle Lovett are also scheduled to perform.
What distinguishing feature did we design into Steinmetz Hall to make it different from the other two venues at the center?
a) It’s open air, allowing audiences to enjoy year-round live performances under the stars
b) It’s a found space, retaining its unique original architectural characteristics and historical significance
c) It’s a multiform theatre, with moving architecture to transform the room depending on the art forms and events being presented
2. Haverford College, Music Facility
The new music facility at Haverford College enhances the campus community’s existing facilities for concerts, rehearsals, workshops, and instruction. The centerpiece of the new facility is the 100-seat Michael Jaharis Recital Hall.
What kind of technology was built into the space to create a contemporary learning and performance environment?
a) Sound and video recording capabilities
b) Broadcasting technologies to allow for virtual collaborations with other music schools
c) Digital projection for a more immersive concert experience
d) All of the above
Note: online information posted about this project states that “sound and video recording capabilities” are built into the space, but the space actually includes all three so we also accepted “all of the above” as a second correct answer for this question.
3. TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park
White River State Park has hosted concerts on a temporary stage for more than a decade. But a brand-new permanent venue—the TCU Amphitheater—has now opened on the same site, offering more comfortable accommodations for artists and audiences, while still retaining the atmosphere of the concerts from previous years.
The 7,000-seat outdoor venue, operated by Live Nation, includes a flexible area in front of the stage for 500 seated or standing patrons, a fixed seating area that accommodates 2,500 patrons and VIPs, and a lawn behind the fixed seating, where up to 4,000 concertgoers can enjoy the show in a more relaxed setting.
Which of these pictures shows the new TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park?
The correct answer is the image on the left
4. Wheaton College, Armerding Center
The Armerding Center for Music and the Arts is located at the heart of Wheaton College’s campus and offers a world-class performance and education environment for their community. We provided theatre planning, design, and performance equipment design and specification services on this project, which was completed in two phases.
Phase One opened in 2017 and included the repurposing of a former math and science building into a versatile music education facility with a 101-seat recital hall featuring adjustable acoustics. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the grand opening of the second phase of the facility, but the college used it for socially distanced learning activities in the meantime.
What kind of venue is at the heart of the Phase Two development?
a) A 266-seat flexible courtyard theatre
b) A 512-seat proscenium theatre
c) A 648-seat concert hall
d) A multipurpose event space
5. Altus City Auditorium
Earlier this summer, we embarked on a strategic planning exercise with the City of Altus in Oklahoma to help find a path forward for re-energizing and renovating the Altus City Auditorium.
Two of our team members were in the city in July to begin work on a key element of this preliminary work. What did that work entail?
a) Engaging with local residents through community workshops and stakeholder interviews to learn about existing barriers with space utilization and the elements that must be preserved, as well as exploring the possibilities for shaping the future of the venue
b) Working with the staff at the City of Altus to develop a business plan for the next ten years, including analysis of the market and how it can be developed over time
c) Assisting the client in developing a vision and strategy for renovation, defining the project, then helping the City of Altus to select key design team members whose skills match the needs of the project
d) All of the above
6. Belmont University, The Fisher Center for the Performing Arts
Our client at Belmont University wanted a world-class concert hall for their acclaimed music program as well as an intimate and versatile venue for touring groups and university events. So, we designed a versatile 1,700-seat hall that can do double duty.
The hall has a full fly tower and proscenium arch to offer an ideal setting for opera, dance, drama, lectures, and other spoken-word gatherings, but a custom-designed orchestra shell can transform the space into an acoustically superior concert hall, unlike any other in Nashville. We also designed the hall with live broadcast capabilities to easily host the university’s annual “Christmas at Belmont” special performance, showcasing the musical diversity and rich talent of the university’s School of Music (catch it on PBS on Monday, December 20 at 9pm!)
Which Belmont University alumnus and multi-platinum recording artist will host this year’s “Christmas at Belmont”?
a) Brad Paisley
b) Lee Ann Womack
c) Josh Turner
d) All of the above