The Michael D. Eisner Center for Performing Arts

The Eisner Center houses state-of-the-art stages and rehearsal spaces, numerous classrooms and offices, as well as many open spaces especially configured to encourage interdisciplinary activity. The Eisner Center now encompasses Burke Hall to create a continuous performing arts experience. Taken together, Denison offers its performing arts students, faculty and programs more than 108,000 square feet of transformational space.

Performance Spaces

Sharon Martin Hall

The Sharon Martin Hall is a flexible, state-of-the-art 400-seat proscenium theatre built with the ability to accommodate a wide variety of performances. Multiple stage and seating configurations allow for an array of stagings and audience sizes. Acoustics can be adjusted to deaden the space for amplified sound — or liven it for acoustic and orchestral performances.

Hylbert Family Studio Theatre

The 3,600-square-foot Hylbert Family Studio Theatre (formerly the Black Box Theatre) seats an intimate audience of up to 150.

Burke Recital Hall

More intimate performances are held in Burke Recital Hall, which seats 225 audience members. Built in 1972, and now fully integrated with the Eisner Center, Burke is home to many recitals and student productions. A full remodel in 2018 added a 6-foot stage extension, a new audio system, and theatrical lighting.

Performances are also held in Denison’s iconic Swasey Chapel.

Rehearsal Spaces

Special rehearsal spaces can be used for performances and classes as well:

  • The Large Rehearsal Space can seat up to 156 people. It is exactly the same size as the Martin Hall stage, which allows rehearsals to be at the same scale as performances. The slightly scaled-back rigging, lighting and AV systems are similar to the Martin Theatre, and the Large Rehearsal Space also can be used for performances, classes, and the occasional meeting.
  • The Medium Rehearsal Space is the prototypical versatile space, equipped for teaching, choral rehearsals, and theater lab work.
  • The Burke Rehearsal Room offers a large space for chamber ensembles.

Additional Resources

In addition to large instructor teaching studios, the Eisner Center holds eleven individual practice rooms, two dedicated percussion rooms, and five chamber rehearsal rooms, all with sound isolation, as well as a state-of-the-art recording studio and music library. Pianos are available for practice; in addition, a piano lab is used for courses. There are also plenty of lockers so you don’t have to carry your instrument up and down the hill.

A computer lab with ten stations is available for student use in Eisner, and an additional 18 stations are in the MIX Lab facility in Mulberry House across the street, where students in all disciplines work and collaborate. The MIX Lab computer stations have software and peripherals installed for creating computer music, and a state-of-the-art studio for recording music and voice.

The Eisner Center also contains excellent construction and support facilities:

  • A fully-equipped scene shop for both wood and metal fabrication
  • An extensive costume shop with a separate cutting and pattern layout area
  • The Mulberry Inter-media eXperimental (MIX) lab contains digital drawing, scanning, photo editing and film editing software and hardware, used in costume, scenic, and lighting design courses. A satellite lab space holds ten computer stations equipped with the same capabilities as the Mulberry Lab.
  • Extensive storage facilities that house many hundreds of props and costumes from every historical period
  • A theatre library, with hundreds of play scripts and theatre texts.