2 of AACC’s theaters undergo renovations


Photo by Laniya Harris

The Humanities Recital Hall gets new seats and floors. It is one of two campus theaters undergoing renovations.

Laniya Harris, Reporter

AACC is currently renovating two of its theaters.

The Kauffman Theater located inside the Pascal Center for Performing Arts is in the process of getting new dressing rooms backstage and updated lighting.

Renovations are also happening in the Humanities Recital Hall, which include new seats and flooring.

“If you were sitting in one of the special seats, the back of the chair in front of you would just fall off,” Sean Urbantke, coordinator of the theater program, said. “The person would not be affected but it was jarring to say the least.”

These renovations have been happening for more than eight months. The Kauffman Theater was opened on campus in 1982, Peter Kaiser, manager of event services, said.

The theater has not been updated since it opened, Urbantke said.

The improvements to the seats and flooring in the Kauffman Theater cost about $274,000, Urbantke said.

The renovations backstage cost about $148,000. The updates to the Humanities Recital Hall cost around $107,000.

The workers put an epoxy floor down, repainted the back wall, and are installing a new handicap ramp in the audience up to the stage, Kaiser said.

“But the construction is supposed to be finished before any of our performances start loading in,” Urbantke said.

The technical theater classes that were in person in the fall had to work alongside the construction.

“Man was it smelly,” Urbantke said. “There was one day we were going to have class and I said, ‘Hey, guys, let’s do this virtually because today, I’m getting lightheaded.’”

Because of the renovations, concert band, orchestra, and theater and dance companies performed in November and December at the Chesapeake Arts Center in Brooklyn Park, Ian Wardenski, chair of the performing arts department, said.

“Since we did it at the [Chesapeake Arts Center], we had to [rehearse and perform] all in one day,” Jenna Baker, a second-year dance student, said. “We were there from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.”

These renovations not only help improve the theater but anyone who’s going to be using it, Urbantke said.

“I’m super excited about some of these renovations,” Urbantke said. “We love enabling [students] to be able to come in and do your thing. And we’re going to have a nicer facility now to be able to continue doing that.”