The Charles E. Maedgen Jr. Theatre has reopened, boasting new state-of-the art equipment and lighting.
After three years of a dark stage, the lights were turned on at Texas Tech University's Charles E. Maedgen Jr. Theatre today (April 28) as it officially reopened to the public.
Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec and other university leadership gathered with faculty, staff and students from the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts to mark the official grand opening of the redesigned Maedgen Theatre, which has been a staple on campus since 1964.
Thanks to generous donations from the J.T. & Margaret Talkington Foundation, the Helen Jones Foundation and the CH Foundation, along with many others, the Maedgen is the final piece in an extensive renovation for the School of Theatre & Dance.
“Today, we celebrate a facility that in many ways represents our commitment to Texas Tech to support the arts and creative activity,” said Schovanec. “It's only through the combined effort of so many people that we have a state-of-the-art theater that will greatly benefit our faculty, staff, students and the larger community.”
According to Marketing & Communication Manager Cory Norman, the facility not only provides students with a new performance space, but also more classrooms, practice space, enhanced technology and new metal, paint and costume shops.
“This redesign was an absolute necessity to take us into the next chapter,” Norman said. “It will provide perspective and current students with the resources for a world-class education.”
The redesign happened in two phases. The first phase focused on providing new classrooms, faculty and staff offices and a state-of-the-art black box theater. Students have performed in the black box for the past two years while renovations shifted to the Maedgen.
In the second phase, the Maedgen was given a complete redesign for both aesthetics and acoustics. This includes a full LED lighting system with the latest controls and a new sound system (the Galileo Galaxy by Meyer Sound) for the latest in digital surround and immersive technologies and infrastructure for future advancements in projections – giving students a wider variety of performances they can present. The audience also will have a new experience as seating and aisles were added to improve accessibility.
“The reopening represents a unique opportunity for our students to study and work in world-class facilities, and in a space in which we anticipate we will engage with the Lubbock community in a very active manner,” said Martin Camacho, dean of the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts. “This facility will definitely be a catalyst for continuing our work within the community.”
The redesigned theater will host a performance of “Sweet Charity” tonight (April 28) and continue to run through Sunday (April 30). Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
“Reopening the final phase of the Maedgen is a dream realized,” said Mark Charney, director of the School of Theatre & Dance. “This facility will have an immense impact on education, our reputation and the community, but also represent Texas Tech's commitment to the transformative nature of the arts. The building is a way for students to strengthen their critical and practical skills but also to share their truths, always rooted in joy, with the world.”