SUNY New Paltz is fortunate to have two dedicated performance spaces. The proscenium theatre, McKenna Theatre hosts part of the Mainstage production season, and the College Theatre building houses the Scene Shop, Computer Lab, Design Studio, and many faculty offices. While just across the way, Parker Theatre—the intimate thrust stage—is housed with two performance studios, costume shop, and a fully-licensed Starbucks!
Julien J. Studley Theatre
Studley Theatre is located in the Old Main Building on the New Paltz campus. Formerly the Old Main Auditorium, the building was renovated and renamed the Julien J. Studley Theatre in 1992. The renovation was made possible through the donations of real estate magnate Julien J. Studley. The theatre seats up to 620 people and has served as a focal point for major performing arts events, concerts, lectures, and the annual Fall Convocation ceremony.
Originally built as a dining hall, the Parker building was converted to a theatre venue, teaching space, and theatre production facility in 1972. Renovated in 1994, it features a modified thrust stage surrounded by an intimate three-quarter audience configuration with seating for up to 201 patrons. Behind the audience are lighting and sound booths with a computerized light board (controlling over 90 dimmers) and digital audio equipment. On either side of that performance venue are performance studio spaces where classes are offered in acting, voice, movement, and musical theatre. Behind the theatre are dressing rooms, a costume studio, costume maintenance and storage facilities, and faculty offices.
McKenna Theatre, a fully equipped proscenium theatre seating 358 and is named in honor of Dr. Rebecca McKenna, professor of English and Drama and founder of the Theatre Arts program at New Paltz. At the rear of the theatre is a sound booth for digital audio equipment with the capabilities to playback, mix, and amplify audio. Behind the audience (and upstairs) is a lighting booth with a computerized light board (controlling over 200 dimmers) and LCD video projection equipment. Above the stage is a stage house with 32-line sets in the fly space. Behind the stage are the scene shop, scenery storage area, paint shop, and other technical facilities.
Max and Nadia Shepard Recital Hall
The Max and Nadia Shepard Recital Hall is a 125-seat hall named in honor of benefactors to the performing arts programs at New Paltz. It offers an intimate setting for chamber music performances and student recitals.