Athens, Ga. – A venue at the center of campus and the community at large since its opening in 1940, the UGA Fine Arts Theatre will be officially re-dedicated at 3 p.m. on April 23 after an extensive renovation.
The public is invited to a brief ceremony that will feature remarks from president Michael F. Adams, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences dean Garnett Stokes, department of theatre and film studies head David Saltz, plus two short scenes from Romeo and Juliet by UGA students.
The last of the Works Progress Administration projects to be constructed on the UGA campus, the Fine Arts Theatre was designed in the ornate, high style of proscenium theatres of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Renovations in the 1970s to improve cooling and lighting resulted in the loss of many original ornamental features and exacerbated existing problems with acoustics. After a one-year, $4.5 million renovation, the fine arts theatre has been aesthetically restored to its original luster, but at the same time transformed into a modern theatre facility with improved sight lines from every one of its 675 seats.
“The Fine Arts Theatre is literally at the heart of our campus and the re-opening of this historic venue is a moment for us to celebrate the magnificent history and future of the arts at UGA,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “The university architects have done an amazing job restoring this grand hall to its original glory.”
The renovation was directed by Scott Messer of the Office of University Architects.
“Once the home for all of the arts programs at UGA, the re-dedicated Fine Arts Theatre will be a spectacular venue for original theatre productions, opera, dance and visiting artists for many years to come,” said Garnett Stokes, dean of the Franklin College, which houses the department of theatre and film studies and UGA’s other fine and performing arts schools and departments.
“The facility is now on par with the sterling national reputation of our theatre program,” said David Saltz, department head of theatre and film studies. “The renovation of what is very much a living theatre is fantastic for the morale of faculty and students and will delight our audiences as well.”
Patrons of the university theatre may dedicate seats in the newly-renovated venue through gifts to the “Curtain’s Rising – Take a seat” campaign. To dedicate a seat, contact Suzie Wong, director of development for the fine and performing arts at UGA, at 706/542-9867 or email@example.com.