New theatre at Blackstone Hall
"I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being."
The stage was set for dramatically improved theatre education, production and performance facilities on the Berry campus when the LifeReady Campaign launched. Now, thanks to honorary alumna and Board of Visitors member Audrey Morgan, the curtain has risen on the project.
Morgan's generous $1 million challenge commitment put fundraising on the fast track in fall 2015, inspiring others by making matching funds available to double subsequent commitments. Giving to the project soared past the $5 million mark in just one year's time, allowing ground to be broken on a new theatre in September 2016. It was then that Morgan announced another $1 million gift, this one from the foundation of her late sister, Dr. M. Bobbie Bailey. A few months later, at the ceremonial "topping out" of the new facility fast taking shape on the east side of Blackstone Hall, President Steve Briggs announced that the $6.7 million campaign had been completed.
"I can say without equivocation that this building would not be here today were it not for Audrey Morgan," he stated. "And we would not be where we are in this process without her gentle pressure relentlessly applied."
On track for completion later this year, the 9,226 square-foot addition to Blackstone Hall will feature a black-box stage with adjustable seating for up to 276. Work has also been done to update existing spaces in Blackstone, breathing new life into the oldest brick building on campus.
Thanks to everyone who has helped to make this wonderful new facility a reality! Be sure to check back often for new photos and other project updates.