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Theater and dance take center stage with multipurpose spaces for teaching, practice and performance.

Inside the vast space that once served as the Northfield Middle School gymnasium, the future of theater and dance at Carleton is taking shape. And that shape is uniquely flexible.

The new 250-seat performance theater is designed with movable (and removable) seating, allowing the the space to be reconfigured into a traditional proscenium, a thrust stage, a black-box theater, or whatever a production requires.

In the nearby dance studios, a similar design strategy allows the larger of the two studios to serve as instructional and rehearsal space as well as performance space, with a 100-seat retractable seating unit and full light grid.

“This versatile design makes our theater and dance spaces uniquely inviting for guest artists and touring productions,” says Steve Richardson ’86, Carleton’s director of the arts. “We look forward to exciting new collaborations with the Twin Cities arts community and visiting artists from around the world.”

These spaces also are more readily available to other Carleton departments, Richardson notes. “In the past, the theater department had to rehearse and build their sets in the same theater where they performed. Now those can happen elsewhere, freeing up the theater and dance studios to host a much wider range of events.”

Other amenities include:

  • Costume workshop
  • Set design shop
  • Prop storage
  • Laundry
  • Theater box office
  • Rehearsal space
  • Green room
  • Dressing rooms
  • Faculty offices