Black box theater grand opening set

A construction worker cuts lumber to complete the new black box theater. The new theater cost the university $2 million. 

University officials are gearing up for the grand opening of the new George S. Lindsey Theatre and Ernest Borgnine Performance Hall March 2 after nearly one year of construction on the $2 million facility.

UNA police Chief Bob Pastula also said the westbound lane of Irvine Avenue between Court and Pine streets will open up this week after officials designated the area as a construction zone near the building site last March.

“They are cleaning up the road and getting it ready to open it back up,” Pastula said. “They haven’t really told me when but it’s looking like it will open up sometime this week.”

Officials broke ground on the new black box theater, which is located on the back of Norton Auditorium, last March. The new theater is designed for professional theater use and features a transformative stage, which allows for a more intimate setting with audience members.

The $2 million facility has been funded through state bond money, UNA’s capital fund and private philanthropy. Carole Maynard, events coordinator in the Department of Music and Theatre, said the new black box theater has been a long anticipated venue in the UNA and area communities.

“We’re looking forward to having a theater that faculty and students will have as a state-of-the-art space they can utilize to further enhance their hands-on experience in theater,” Maynard said. “The space itself is a unique venue for audiences. The stage setting is very fluid and can be modified for each performance and makes each performance very unique for students and audience members.”

The grand opening ceremony March 2 at 4 p.m. is an invitation-only event where refreshments will be provided to attendees. Officials will unveil the names of the new facilities where actors George Lindsey and Ernest Borgnine will be present. Attendees will proceed to the lawn of Coby Hall for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Maynard said an open house for students will be scheduled later this semester.

For more information, contact the Department of Music and Theatre at 256-765-4516 or email Department Chair Dr. David McCullough at [email protected]