Project File: Stage enhancement

July 1, 2005
The Eastman Theatre at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, N.Y.

The Eastman Theatre at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, N.Y., began as a 3,094-seat theater for music, dance and silent film. Its decor reflects the 1920s.

In 1971, the stage was renovated, and a 25-ton, all-steel acoustical shell was constructed, featuring a removable enclosure and canopy. The 21st century brought the need for another renovation.

The $5 million renovation included improved stage lighting, an improved orchestra pit with new mechanics, and backstage enhancements. Hoffend and Sons (Victor, N.Y.) built the new custom shell and provided the accompanying theater rigging system.

“The renovation was intended to enhance the visual, acoustic and practical concert experience for performers and audiences alike,” says James Undercofler, the school's dean.

The architect for this project is Chaintreuil Jensen Stark Architects (Rochester, N.Y.). The school consulted with Fisher Dachs Associates (New York City) and Akustiks (Norwalk, Conn.).

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