Renovations at the Oremus Fine Arts Center Result in Much Needed Improvements

Photo provided by Roslyn Summerville & Barbara Kaluzny: New eye-catching renovations to the front of the theatre.

Roslyn Summerville, Public Relations

Throughout the past year, construction workers renovated the front lobby of the Philip Lynch Theatre, the main entrance for the Oremus Fine Arts Center and added an art gallery to improve students’ overall experience and learning.

The PLT takes in around 23,000 patrons each year, so having an impressive lobby is essential to patron satisfaction.

But, the changes don’t just stop there.

The addition of the art gallery was crucial because the art students only had a hallway to showcase their artwork.

“It was like having a basketball team with no court to play on,” Professor and Chair of the Theatre Department, Keith White said about the students’ lack of space to display their work.

Also, a Studio Theatre called ‘The Black Box Theatre,’ has been added, which can seat around 80-100 patrons. It has the capability to shift the seating arrangement a total of four possible ways.

The debut production of the studio consisted of student-directed 10-minute plays for a festival in May 2013.

After the festival, the Heritage Theatre Company (HTC), a volunteer-run community theatre company mainly devoted to performing classic works, hosted ‘AlumNights 2013,’ for Lewis graduates to return to the stage and carry out songs and scenes from previous PLT productions they had been a part of, explained theatre manager, Jo Slowik.

Slowik also mentioned that HTC plans to host ‘AlumNights 2014’ due to the great success of the first one in the studio theatre.

There is also a new scene shop, which is used by the students to create scenic pieces for performances. Above the scene shop additional storage was created for students to keep costumes, props and furniture pieces in a safe environment.

A new percussion room has been added as well.

White is happy with what all the construction has created because these changes were a much-needed advancement for the Oremus Fine Arts Center.

“I was an undergrad student here in the 1970s and even though we loved the grittiness back then, today it is a necessity to have campus facilities that reflect the quality of the education we provide,” he said.

“The entrance way looks a lot more modern and gives it a bit of new life,” junior flight management major Alex Kwiatkowski said.

Kwiatkowski also really enjoys how the art gallery showcases the artists’ talents through the work that is displayed there.

Roslyn Summerville

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