Curtain rises

Theatre Rendering: Interior

Architectural rendering of planned Berry theatre.

Plans to build a new theatre on campus have a champion in Berry Board of Visitors member Audrey Morgan. She has made a challenge commitment to match the first $1 million in gifts to the project dollar for dollar – if the $3.3 million needed for the new theatre is raised by June 30. Her goal is to put fundraising on the fast track so that construction can begin next summer.

Audrey Morgan Portrait

Audrey Morgan

“We learn so much about who we are as individuals and as a community through the arts,” Morgan said. “I am honored to help bring facilities to Berry that will give such wonderful, talented students new opportunity to grow artistically and personally. These improvements in support of the arts are important for the students and community at Berry and need to happen soon.”

News of Morgan’s challenge was met with excitement on social media and rousing applause during Mountain Day performances of The Nerd, the first production of Berry’s 2015-16 theatre season.

The planned theatre, an addition to Blackstone Hall, will provide a comfortable setting for an audience of 312. A modified thrust stage will be supported by state-of-the-art lighting, sound and curtain systems. A $1.9 million renovation of the main floor of Blackstone Hall will follow, providing a large acting studio/classroom, updated scene shop with paint booth, costume shop with dye area, dressing areas, meeting space, and offices.

Gifts (which literally will be doubled by the match – up to the first $1 million received) can be made online or by contacting Scott Breithaupt (91C, 96G) at sbreithaupt@berry.edu. Be sure to direct your gift to the theatre/Blackstone Hall project.

Visit the LifeReady website for project details.

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