Department of Theatre and Dance students design for and perform in exceptional performance facilities. Their range of stage features, house sizes and technical configurations allow students to experience the diversity of venues of a type they will encounter in their professional lives as performers and designers. Our performance and teaching facilities include:
The Alexander Kasser Theater is the University’s newest, flagship performance facility. Intimate, convenient and with excellent acoustics, Kasser is an exciting venue for both performers and audiences. In its architecture, the 53,000 square foot theater pays tribute to the Spanish mission style of the University’s historic buildings, welcoming visitors with a sweeping plaza and broad, arcaded loggia. Once inside, theater-goers enter a 4,600 square foot lobby, distinguished by an elegant staircase to the balcony. While awaiting curtain time, patrons can visit the lobby’s gallery space, enjoy exhibition displays and gather for casual conversation.
The heart of the Kasser is its intimate 500-seat auditorium, including an oversized stage, orchestra pit and state-of-the-art technical features. Equipped to exacting standards, Kasser includes a guest artist suite, green room, scenery/props construction shop, makeup room, electric shop, wardrobe room and control room. The theater is also home to the unique Harry Partch Institute and a recording studio.
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Memorial Auditorium is a 988-seat multi-cultural presentation/performance venue and the largest performance facility on campus. It hosts a very diverse group of cultural, ethnic and programmatic events ranging from classical music and serious drama and dance to rap concerts. It also accommodates multi-media presentations, recruitment programs, gala celebrations and academic classes. The facility features a proscenium stage, red-carpeted inner-lobby, outer-lobby concession, green room, dressing rooms, costume shop, lighting and sound booths, scene shop shared with the adjacent L. Howard Fox Theatre and a customizable outdoor marquis.
The recently renovated L. Howard Fox Theater is an intimate flexible black box theatre. Renovations include new carpeting and seating plus state-of-the-art lighting/sound systems. Audience capacity includes 100 fixed and 80 movable seats. In recent seasons the Fox has hosted everything from intimate “Conversations” to large-cast musicals. It is also used as a classroom for acting, directing, lectures and the Department’s “Theatre in the Raw” productions.
The Montclair State University Dance Theatre is an intimate, contemporary 100-seat space used exclusively for dance, accommodating concerts, rehearsals and class instruction. The facility features a deep, flexible performing area, sound/lighting systems, curtains, cyc, and a new sprung floor. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide natural illumination as well as black-out shades when needed. Adjacent to the space are a dressing room and ballet studio. The Dance Theatre has hosted both large- and small-cast concerts featuring renowned guest choreographers and students as well as Department companies-in-residence.
The Montclair State University Amphitheater, situated adjacent to the Alexander Kasser Theater, is a 2000-seat refurbished facility originally constructed in 1940. A reminder of a campus pre-World War II, the stone structure is regarded as more than just a popular gathering place; it is a historic icon which evokes memories for generations of alumni. Although its natural open space makes it a perfect place for public gatherings, the amphitheater also serves as a private retreat for students. They often claim a small section on one of the 30 rows of steps, which proves to be the perfect setting for a conversation or simple solitude. Today the amphitheater continues to be used for special performances, festivals and classes, as well as a speaking ground for special events.
The Department of Theatre and Dance supports teaching laboratories in which students work and rehearse and which complement the performance venues. They include:
- Two ballet studios
- Modern dance studio
- Multi-purpose dance studio
- Black Box Experimental Theatre Space
- Scene design studio
- Two scene-construction shops
- Costume shop
- Fashion Studies laboratories (shared with the Department)