Theatre & Dance
(530) 752‐0888; http://theatredance.ucdavis.edu
The Department of Theatre and Dance has one of the finest theater facilities in California, with an unusually good stock of scenery, props, costumes, and state‐of‐the‐art lighting and sound equipment. Facilities are complemented by an excellent faculty, the Granada Artists‐in‐Residence program (which brings a major director, choreographer or playwright to the department each quarter), Shakespeare's Globe, London exchange program, and graduate students working on Master of Fine Arts degrees in acting, directing, choreography or design, all of whom contribute to the fine quality of UC Davis drama and dance productions. Each year’s schedule includes: undergraduate festivals in theatre, dance and film; opportunities to work with professional directors and choreographers in three main stage productions; and performance projects and established scripts developed by MFA students. These productions take place on our proscenium (Main), thrust (Wyatt), black box (Arena), performance studio (University Club) stages as well as in the Mondavi Center’s Studio Theatre and Jackson Hall. These productions are part of the academic program of the department and serve an important purpose in the study of theatre and dance. Participation is open to all students.
The University Club Studio
A primary performance space with a sprung maple floor and flexible seating for as many as 65 people is located in the University Club Studio.
The Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts
The Department of Theatre and Dance is a resident producer in the world-class Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, a $53.5-million project that houses the most advanced playing space in northern California. Our students experience the thrill of working in Jackson Hall, a state-of-the-art, 1,800-seat performance space, and in the jewel-box Studio Theatre seating 250.
The Mondavi Center brings a wide variety of world‐class performing artists to UC Davis to serve the campus and surrounding communities. During the academic year, Mondavi Center offers concerts and recitals by classical, jazz and folk music artists; drama; classical and modern dance; and lectures by eminent public figures. Tickets for events may be purchased at the Mondavi Center Ticket Office at (530) 754‐ARTS or toll free at (866) 754‐ARTS. Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, Mondavi Center Administration Building
(530) 754‐5000; http://www.mondaviarts.org
The Main Theatre
The UC Davis Main Theatre is on the southeastern side of the campus and faces north onto Hutchison Drive, which is closed to vehicular traffic at this point of its route. The courtyard features Robert Arneson's sculpture, Yin & Yang, from his 1991-92 Egghead Series. Constructed in 1967, the theatre was freshly painted and outfitted with new seating and enlarged wheelchair space in 2001.
Audience capacity of the Main Theatre is 470. An FM listening system is available for hearing challenged persons. Patrons wishing to use the FM listening system should ask the House Manager for assistance.
This is a proscenium-stage theatre with continental seating. Entrances to the Main Theatre stage are inside Wright Hall. The stage playing area is 54 feet by 40 feet and is fully trapped. The distance from the stage floor to the bottom of the grid measures 60 feet, allowing a great deal of fly space for scenery. The flexible proscenium arch has a maximum height and width of 24 feet by 50 feet. The minimum width is 36 feet. The orchestra pit is hydraulically operated to serve as an elevator to the stage storage in the basement below. The pit can be set at any position between the basement and 6 inches above the stage floor.
The Main Theatre stage is equipped with a double cyclorama (one gray leno and one scrim), and a system of 36 T-guide counterweight lines for raising and lowering lights and scenery. The state-of-the-art computer lighting system provides a virtually unlimited number of lighting combinations and cues. The theatre has a closed circuit television and audio system with a stage manager's control console.
The Wyatt Pavilion
Wyatt Pavilion Theatre faces south, with the ticket window and main public entrance giving directly onto Visitor Parking Lot Number 5. Wyatt Pavilion is one of the few original structures still standing on the UC Davis campus. Built in 1907, the Judging Pavilion, as it was then called, could accommodate 500 people (the campus had 23 students at the time) and sat on what is now the southeast corner of Peter J. Shields Avenue and East Quad. This location meant that livestock being taken to the Pavilion for judging had to traverse the entire campus on their way from the animal barns. In the early 1920s, the Judging Pavilion was moved next to the barns, and the parade of hogs, cattle, sheep, and horses ceased.
As Davis evolved from the University Farm to a general campus of the University of California, most of the original buildings were destroyed to make way for new construction. The Judging Pavilion, on the site of a proposed new physical sciences building, was slated to be torn down. Retired Gerbers executive Fred S. Wyatt (son of Marcus O. Wyatt of Winters, who at the turn of the century had helped choose the site for UC Davis) was then a special assistant to Chancellor Emil M. Mrak. Wyatt had a strong feeling for history and thought that the Pavilion building should be preserved. His generous contribution made possible the moving of the building and its conversion into a theatre at its present location.
The historic building retains its original rustic, dark brown, wood-shingled exterior. Clifford C. Fellage of the Dramatic Art department designed the interior, which is a flexible, open-stage arrangement with seating on three sides, similar to the Stratford, Ontario Shakespearean Festival Theatre. The December 1963 opening was timed to mark the quadricentennial celebration of Shakespeare's birth, and the inaugural performance in the new theatre was Shakespeare's The Tragedy of King Richard II, directed by Alan Stambusky. At the opening, University officials proudly pointed out that Wyatt Pavilion was then "the only campus theatre in the US designed for the presentation of plays as they were enacted in Shakespeare's day."
Chancellor Mrak noted that the new theatre proved "the campus has advanced to a new stage in its evolution into a truly general campus. ... [Wyatt Pavilion] stands today as a memorial to our great agricultural heritage, as a symbol of our dedication to the arts, and as a constant reminder of our duty to future generations of students and Californians." Wyatt Pavilion Theatre seats 200 people around its thrust stage. The stage has a permanent architectural façade, passageways beneath the thrust portion of the stage, traps that can be opened in several places to provide levels and downstage entrances, an inner stage, and an upper level that can be closed with sliding panel doors or curtains. The theatre includes two 10-person dressing rooms. A new lighting grid was installed in 2001. The theatre uses an ETC Expression console and 78 dimmer-per-circuit sensor dimmers
The Arena: small black box theatre
Lab A: small theatre space with raked seating
Lab B: small performance space with flooring for movement work
Hickey Gym: Movement Lab