Ursuline Academy of Dallas East Performing Arts Center
Moving through the west architectural gateway of the new 95,000 sf Ursuline of Dallas Academic Building, students and visitors are welcomed by the campus’ new and integrated Performing Arts Center. The vibrant interior vertical red fins surrounding the theater house serve as an iconic symbol signifying entry for spectators and audience members. The new Performing Arts Center boasts an elegant grand entry through cast stone portals leading into the pre-function reception space anchored by a cascading stairway leading up to the balcony level and exterior roof top terrace. Gallery and exhibit space is woven throughout the reception | lobby area providing a timeless and sophisticated space to hold events of all kinds.
Moving through the red theater house shell reveals the dynamic and multi-purpose, 1,000 seat theater performance space within. The tiered acoustic clouds and undulating interior walls create a state-of-the-art performance space supporting the spoken word, theater performances, and a wide range of amplified and unamplified musical performances. The planning and placement of the service area and stage takes advantage of the sloping nature of the site and allows the height of the theater volume to remain as low as possible. The slope of the interior performance space is matched on the exterior where an outdoor performance amphitheater gently unfolds down the sloping central courtyard.
Technically, the theater boasts 30 rigging line sets, six of which are motorized to support the orchestra shell ceiling and main drape. There is an eight-foot-deep rigging pit and a 50-feet tall fly loft designed specifically to teach and train students to facilitate performances at various scales and function. Along with meeting the curriculum and technical needs of the teachers and students, the new Performing Arts Center also provides the campus with gathering space large enough for the entire student body to assemble for all school events.