A tour of the Prior Performing Arts Center

Nicole Letendre ’23

Chief Features Editor

On Sept. 24, the newly completed Prior Performing Arts Center hosted Community Day, which celebrated the arts through dance and musical performances, as well as the Cantor Art Gallery exhibit. The event featured a Balinese musical processional into the arts center, followed by a variety of artistic showcases. An open rehearsal of the play “Iphigenia” took place at the black-box theater, known as Boroughs Theatre. Acapella groups on-campus, Sons of Pitches and Fools on the Hill, as well as the dance group Kxplosion, showcased their talents through performances in the stunning arts center.

The beautiful Prior Performing Arts Center includes a grand staircase in the main entrance, which leads to several floors of studios, performance rooms, as well as the exquisite Cantor Art Gallery. Open to students; the art gallery features the exhibit: “Afterimage: 2022 Visual Arts Faculty,” which runs through Oct. 22. The exhibit includes a range of art pieces, such as the sculpture “Balance/Tension, 2022” by Rachelle Beaudoin, which utilizes an array of found objects relating to exercise—a yoga ball, yoga blocks, kettlebell and small hand weights—which are all a vibrant hot pink in color. Many other mesmerizing exhibits, including hanging art pieces, sculptures and paintings, are showcased in this space. 

The Prior Performing Arts Center is comprised of a variety of impressive rooms, such as the spacious auditorium balcony, a high-tech recording suite, a scene shop, a costume design room, as well as a dance studio overlooking the city skyline. Additionally, there is a small coffee counter space in the main room, which may be used for intermission food services. Throughout the building, mannequins dressed in elaborate costumes drew the attention of students and visitors. The building was flooded with light from the high ceilings and expansive windows. Aptly named, the “Beehive” is a majestic nook, jutting out of the balcony and overlooking the main room. In addition to the abundance of rooms, the arts center also contains several practice rooms, an editing and design studio, a studio theatre wing, a dressing/seminar room and a small rehearsal room. 

It’s safe to say Community Day was a huge success and showcased all that the Prior Performing Arts Center has to offer—which is quite a lot! If you haven’t explored this beautiful space, make sure to stop by; you’ll be in awe of the architectural beauty. Be sure to keep an eye out for upcoming performances, plays, and art exhibitions to attend, in order to get the full experience. While this written tour has ended, hopefully, you can visit the building and see it for yourself sometime soon!

Categories: features

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