The Gezon Auditorium has been the main performance space for theatre at Calvin since its dedication in 1974. The theater was designed in the style of the “open vista” stage, popular at the time. The intimate size and shape of the theater make it an ideal venue for college theatre productions; one in which there are few, if any, bad seats. Because of limited off-stage space, the theater was outfitted with a 26-foot diameter turntable built into the center of the stage. This feature can allow for two settings to be on stage simultaneously, and changed by simply rotating the turntable. Lighting and scenery can be hung over the stage on a series of pipes, some of which lower to the stage floor for easy loading. The theater is served by a computerized lighting control system as well as a state-of-the-art sound system.
The Lab Theater was built in 1988 as part of the Calvin Chapel construction project. This flexible “black box” theater was built next to the Gezon Auditorium, creating a theater complex. The theater is a 60 foot square room that contains flexible seating units, making it possible to create any number of conventional theatre configurations, from arena to thrust and frontal and allowing for seating capacities ranging from 250 to 350 seats. Directors and actors enjoy the intimacy of the Lab Theater, and designers enjoy the ability to design an entire performance environment for a play. The computerized lighting and sound systems allow for added flexibility.
A fully outfitted scene shop serves both the Gezon Auditorium and Lab Theater and contains all of the necessary woodworking and metalworking tools for the production of sets and props. The shop allows for scenery to be built and painted in large sections or on castors, and moved easily into and out of the theaters through large, sound-deadening doors.