The Michael D. Eisner Center for Performing Arts
The Michael D. Eisner Center for Performing Arts is home to the departments of dance, music and theatre, creating a dynamic, interactive space where students collaborate across disciplines. The building is named for Michael D. Eisner ’64, a Life Trustee of the college, a former chairman and chief executive officer of the Walt Disney Company, and founder of the Tornante Company.
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.
The department produces a wide variety of theatre productions each academic year. Participation in theatre productions is open to students at all levels and from all disciplines. Auditions are open to the entire campus.
Denison has two primary theatre spaces: the Sharon Martin Hall, and the Hylbert Family Studio Theatre.
The Sharon Martin Hall is the crown jewel of the Eisner Center. The 400-seat proscenium theater has been built with the ability to accommodate a huge 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.
Formerly known as the Black Box Theatre, the 3600-square-foot Hylbert Family Studio Theatre seats an intimate audience of up to150. Audio, lighting and seating capabilities were upgraded during the Eisner Center construction.
Special rehearsal spaces provide room to rehearse and can be used as performance space as well. The Large Rehearsal Space can seat up to 156 people. It is exactly 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.
In addition to the theatre spaces, the department has excellent construction and support facilities:
- A fully-equipped scene shop for both wood and metal fabrication
- The Mulberry Lab, containing digital drawing, scanning, photo editing and film editing software and hardware, used in costume, scenic, and lighting design courses.
- A satellite Mulberry Lab with ten computer stations equipped with the same capabilities as the Mulberry Lab.
- An extensive costume shop with a separate cutting and pattern layout area
- 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.