San Diego State University Opens Its New Performing Arts District

Wednesday afternoon San Diego State University President Adela de la Torre officially opened the university’s new Performing Arts District on the steps of the university’s Main Stage Theatre, formerly known as the Don Powell Theatre. Surrounded by members of the arts faculty and major donors to the project, President de la Torre cut the ribbon that allowed invited guests to explore the renovations inside the lobby and the refurbished 350-seat auditorium of the Main Stage Theatre. They could then visit the new Prebys Stage, the new outdoor Bill and Evelyn Lamben Stage, and the new Dean Joyce M. Gattas Pavilion.

President Adela de la Torre, center holding scissors, with faculty members on right and major donors on left [Photo (c.) Ken Jacques]

The Performing Arts District is the first cluster of buildings a visitor encounters walking from the university’s main entrance on Campanile Ave. The art district’s plaza is flanked by the Music Department’s J. Dayton Smith Recital Hall on the south side and the Main Stage Theatre directly across on the plaza’s north side. Moving to the west, adjacent to the main Stage Theatre is the new amenities building named for Dean Joyce W. Gattas that houses the center’s box office and concessions window. Further westward on the Music Building side of the plaza is the Lamden outdoor stage flanked against the new Prebys Stage building. Especially designed to accommodate dance performance, the unusually large stage of the 120-seat Prebys Stage auditorium has been constructed with a “sprung” floor.

Prebys Stage at night [photo (c.) Ken Jacques

Although the SDSU’s School of Theatre, Television, and Film presented the inaugural production of the Prebys Stage Ziggy, Stardust & Me the last weekend of September, 2023, Wednesday’s ribbon cutting marked the official opening of the completed Performing Arts District.

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