Magnificat Theater an impressive local gem
By Art Thomas
Published Dec. 8, 2004
River is a more arts-friendly community with the opening of the
new Performing Arts facility at Magnificat High School.
itself is quite impressive. With 1,000 seats, it can accommodate
large crowds for a variety of presentations. The auditorium design
is a classic architectural standard with a forty-eight foot proscenium
opening. The backstage area is large and deep and connects to a
shop that can construct and store large scenic units.
If the school
decides to be a "presenting organization" they have the means to
do so. Outside of the shop is a loading dock area for a semi truck
to back into and unload on the shop and stage level. There is a
straight path to the stage. This means that the school could present
a touring orchestra concert one night, and a troupe of Chinese acrobats
the next with no problems in loading.
double-deck Magnificat Center for the Performing Arts opened
are dressing rooms, changing rooms, and showers. Underneath the
stage, a flexible orchestra pit is accessed by removing sections
of the stage floor.
These are things
that the audience does not see.
What the audience
does see is the building's distinct architectural element--a floating
balcony. It doesn't really float, of course, but its curved surfaces
suggest a cloudlike formation and there are no visible means of
connecting it to the auditorium proper.
The large lobby
area is a warm and welcoming gathering area for the audience before
the show and at intermission. It can be used to display student
artwork or even for a reception. It is next to the school's expanded
bookstore, another nice feature. I like the mixture of brick, stone,
and painted surfaces which give variety in color, form and texture
to the area.
has an active list of events in the new Performing Arts Center.
an Instrumental Christmas concert and Dec 16 a Choral Christmas
Concert. Later this school year is a night of classical music, a
spring play, a series of one act plays and spring concerts.
Magnificat High School has some outside groups that they have sponsored.
Pianist Spencer Myer has a concert on April 16, and there are dance
recitals scheduled for June.
as time goes on the school will find more and more uses for this
wonderful facility. I'll bet that student art shows will be much
more popular with the work visible to thousands of visitors
to the Performing Arts Center.
Most of the
currently booked events are open to the public. Some have admission
charges and some do not. For more information, call the school at