Performing Arts Center

Performing Arts Center exterior

Audio Tour Transcript

The Performing Arts Center, or the PAC, is home to our theatre and dance programs and the College's largest performance spaces. You don't have to study theatre or dance to get involved in the productions here, and all shows are free to the entire Sarah Lawrence community. Each of the five performance spaces in the PAC offers unique experiences for both the performers and the audience members. The Frances Ann Cannon Theatre is inspired by Shakespeare's Globe, and students have been known to try out new and experimental productions there.

The Suzanne Werner Wright Theatre is a proscenium-style theatre, offering a traditional yet flexible space for main stage productions. There's also the Bessie Schonberg Dance Theatre, named after the influential dancer, choreographer, and former dance director of Sarah Lawrence's dance program. We also have the Reisinger Concert Hall, a 400-seat auditorium, and finally, two smaller black box theatres, plus dressing rooms, sound and lighting booths, and everything else you'll need to put on a professional production.

Our undergraduate theatre program prepares engaged and collaborative theatre artists, their curriculum prioritizing equality, care, and innovation. Theatre, dance, and music students engage in a conservatory-style approach, experiencing their art from every angle. Theatre students study acting, but also directing, playwriting, costume design, production, and even stage combat. Music students, meanwhile, will focus on their instrument if they have one, but also music theory, composition, and music history. And if you're interested in studying dance, you'll study choreography, anatomy, and all aspects of movement.

Our undergraduate music program is housed just a five-minute walk from here in Marshall Field. There, you'll find music classrooms, a music library, practice rooms, and an electronic music studio, which includes cutting-edge technology for composition, songwriting, and production, plus a variety of vintage electronic instruments and resources. Like theatre and dance, you can join chamber ensembles or choir and other music groups even if you aren't academically involved in the department. Plenty of students pick up a new instrument at SLC and find meaningful connections to the music community.

The department even hosts Music Tuesdays, when local artists stop by campus to share their craft in a conversation with the community. You'll also find our Songwriters Collective at Marshall Field, a group of like-minded students who get together to collaborate on new songs, share feedback, and perform. Once the semester gets going, there are productions to see almost every week. And again, all performances are free. There are department-run productions along with performances put on by student theatre companies, guest directors, improv troupes, festivals, and more.