By: Jessica Walters
After nearly three years of construction, Salem State University’s new theater, the Sophia Gordon Center, is finally set to open at this week. On April 20th, the Gordon Center will open with their performance of “The Drowsy Chaperone: A Musical Within a Comedy.” Shortly following the big premier, the theater will have its ribbon cutting on April 22nd.
The new theater got its name from donors, Bernard and Sophia Gordon, who have donated over $5 million to the theater and arts programs at Salem State over the past twenty years.
The Sophia Gordon Center will have a more intimate and advanced setting than the old Mainstage Theater, which shut down in the summer of 2014. To achieve a closer, more personal experience, the new theater has about half as many seats as the old. Furthermore, the new theater benefits from an orchestra platform on the front of the stage that also acts as an elevator to the basement for faster set and equipment set up. There is also an outdoor space that actors can utilize once the weather warms up.
The new theater will also have an exact replica of the main stage and several conference rooms for rehearsals. Salem State’s 180 theater student, along with the Salem community, are sure to benefit from the opening of this marvelous new addition to the University.