About the Theatres
The Potter Center at Jackson College is comprised of the most versatile and complete performing arts complex in the area. Viewed separately, each of the three theatres is well designed, constructed and equipped. Viewed as an entire arts complex, the educational and entertainment possibilities are limitless.
Michael Baughman Theatre
The Baughman Theatre, in a combination of conventional and continental seating patterns, seats a total of 403 persons, including 10 wheelchair spaces.
Overall, the stage measures 35 feet deep by 92 feet wide with a proscenium opening of 46 feet wide by 23 feet high. Performance flexibility is enhanced through the use of three trap doors in the stage floor, coupled with two stage entrances through the seating area and an elevator-type orchestra pit which can accommodate up to 44 musicians. In addition, there are 47 counterbalanced pipes which can be used to fly curtains, scenery, stage lights and even people.
Above the seating area there are five interconnected catwalks on which speakers, follow spots and additional stage lights can be positioned. The control booths are situated behind and above the last row of seats. They offer an excellent vantage point for the technicians operating the computerized lighting control console.
Support facilities include a total of four dressing rooms, fully equipped costume and scene shops and a formative dance studio with special flooring, mirrored walls and dance bars.
Harold Sheffer Music Hall
This spacious grand concert hall/theatre seats 1,549 patrons, including 20 wheelchair patrons. There are 1,046 seats plus the wheelchair spaces on the lower or Orchestra Level, while the balcony, or Grand Tier, contains 483 seats. On occasion, 37 additional seats can be placed on the orchestra lift, at audience level, for a maximum total of 1,586 seats. Each level contains outer lobbies which afford striking views of the Potter Center complex.
The overall stage dimensions measure 45 feet deep by 100 feet wide, while the proscenium opening measures 56 feet wide by 31 feet, eight inches high. The theatre features a large elevator-type orchestra pit which can seat up to 80 musicians.
One of the Music Hall’s technical features is a series of six interconnecting catwalks, located above the Orchestra Level seating, from which are mounted numerous stage lighting luminaries. Perched loftily above the Grand Tier level is a spacious follow-spot booth. The three interconnected control booths (sound, audio visual and lighting) are situated at the rear of the Orchestra Level.
Incorporating 75 counterbalanced pipes for flying draperies, scenic drops, speakers, and stage lighting equipment, the Music Hall has the capability to present even the largest of the Broadway touring companies. The computerized lighting control console has 200 memories, a visual display unit and 252 dimmers.
In addition to a full acoustical shell enclosure for the proscenium, the theatre contains 30 adjustable reflector panels and seven motor operated curtains to control and adjust the acoustics of the house. Thus, reverberation time can be altered to adjust the acoustics to accommodate the varying requirements and styles of both dramatic and musical presentations.
Also included in the theatre is a complete rehearsal room equipped with a dance floor, mirrored walls and an outstanding environment for dance and music programs and classes. The room contains adjustable acoustic panels that can readily be changed from absorptive to reflective surfaces. The rehearsal room has its own restroom facilities and music library mezzanine besides being sound isolated from the Music Hall.
Finally, for the performing artists, the Music Hall houses a total of seven dressing rooms – five for chorus, two for “stars,” crew dressing rooms and facilities and a canteen and laundry for traveling artists. The “star” dressing room is carpeted with a sofa and casual chairs. There are also phone lines available for calls, faxes and computer hook-up for the artists or their managers’ use.
Ruth Day Theatre
The Ruth M. Day Theatre is a multiple form, experimental theatre. By incorporating fixed seating on eight movable units, the theatre can be fashioned into four standard staging configurations: Arena, Thrust, Center Aisle and Proscenium. To accommodate the various technical requirements of music, dance and drama, there are 12 interconnected catwalks above the house which connect to the combined lighting and sound booth. For additional flexibility, the theatre is equipped with four adjustable acoustical curtains which can readily change the room acoustics from reflective to absorptive surfaces. The seating capacity of Day Theatre varies according to the presentation style, but generally seats 104, 126, 168 or 184 persons.
Robert Snyder Dining Room
Located on the first floor of Potter Center, the newly remodeled Robert Snyder Dining Commons is an excellent facility for wedding receptions, banquets and other special events. Most events range from 200 – 275 individuals. The maximum capacity is 360. This allows for an area for dancing and a band or DJ. The Potter Center Patio may be reserved for an additional cost.
Food service arrangements are made through the catering service on campus, Continental Services. They offer a complete line of menus ranging from hors d’oeuvre receptions to buffets to sit down dinners. Managers may be reached at 517.783.1521.
Reservations can be made up to one year in advance.
For more information on the Dining Room, please contact the Community Relations Office at 517.796.8473.