Berry College students, faculty and staff applauded the new “Sisters Theatre” dedication Friday evening.
The 9,226 square-foot addition to Blackstone Hall includes a black-box stage with adjustable seating for up to 276, depending on the needs of a particular production. It was project champion Audrey Morgan’s $1 million challenge gift that initiated fundraising for the now-completed $6.7 million theatre campaign in fall 2015. A year later, at the project groundbreaking, she announced a second $1 million commitment, this one from the foundation of her late sister, Dr. M. Bobbie Bailey.
“Over the years I’ve volunteered and supported a lot of great causes, and standing right by my side and supporting me in all of my endeavors was my sister and business partner, Bobbie Bailey,” said Morgan, an honorary Berry alumna and member of the Board of Visitors. “The Berry project was no different.”
The campaign also funded upgrades to Blackstone Hall, which together with the new theatre essentially double the amount of functional space available for Berry’s theatre students. It was one of two major fine arts priorities of the LifeReady Campaign and fundraising is underway for renovation of Ford Auditorium, Berry’s primary performance space for music.
“There is such an opportunity in the new space for students and faculty to learn and grow while practicing our craft,” said Anna Filippo, Berry Director of Theatre. “With the new technology, the ability to configure the theatre seating and the fresh new look, Berry College Theatre can offer students valuable training to take them to their first jobs, and through their careers. We are truly grateful to everyone who has helped make this happen.”
The Berry College Theatre Company production of “Crimes of the Heart,” wraps up Saturday and Sunday. For tickets go to http://www.berry.edu/bctc/