Center Theater receives face-lift

by Christopher Kao | 6/22/94 5:00am

The Hopkins Center's main entrance and lobby -- including the Top of The Hop -- will be closed Summer term because of renovations to the Center Theater.

The renovations, funded by a $2 million donation from Florence Moore, widow of Lansing Moore '37, will upgrade the theater's lighting, sound, rigging and elevator systems.

Joshua Price, operations assistant for the Hopkins Center, said the renamed Lansing Porter Moore Theater should open in mid-November with a special inaugural performance by the Maly Theater from St. Petersburg, Russia.

All other entrances to The Hop will remain open during construction. Alumni Hall, the faculty lounge and the Drama Department's offices in The Hop will also remain open, Price said.

The main entrance lobby, which will undergo only minor changes, and the Top of The Hop should be open by Fall term registration, he said.

Despite the loss of its three main work areas, the Center Theater, the Warner-Bentley Theater and a rehearsal room, the drama department will not be affected much by the construction, Drama Professor Paul Gaffney said.

Gaffney said Drama 1 and Drama 65 will be offered in the summer and "a full slate of classes" will be offered in the fall. Although classrooms will be shuffled and plays will have to be put on in different places, Gaffney said, "We'll be frenetically active, just not in the usual places or in the usual way."

In the summer, students taking Drama 65 will script and produce a play for the Collis Common Ground. The summer repertory theater productions will also be staged in the Common Ground.

The New York Theater Workshop, which is holding its three-week summer workshop at the College for the third straight year, will use Faulkner Receital Hall and in the Common Ground. But the drama department will not produce a main-stage play in Moore Theater in the fall, Gaffney said.

The College began planning the renovations in the fall of 1992 after Mrs. Moore's donation.

Demolition inside the theater began in mid-May, but the College delayed work in the lobby area and in the Top of the Hop until after Commencement and Reunion activities were finished, Price said.