After 19 years, Vanguard University’s Lyceum Theater is finally getting a makeover.
Renovations to the theater include adding a new backstage dressing room and replacing the trailer formerly behind the theater with a brand new multi-purpose room twice the size.
This room will include brand new bathrooms for both patrons and actors to use as well as a space to store props and scenic items.
It will also be used for many academic theater major classes that have not been given the adequate amount of space that they deserve, such as costume design and prop building.
Theater Director Nick Lazaris expressed his excitement for not only the completion of this building, but the decision to put bathrooms for patrons to use so close to the theater. He touched on how this inclusion will be extremely beneficial to many of the departments elderly patrons, as they often miss parts of each show trying to make their way to and from the current bathrooms that are located by the school cafeteria.
In addition to creating a larger theater environment, these renovations will also help Vanguard keep up with their National Association School of Theatres accreditation.
Being one of only three Christian universities in the country to be accredited by the NAST, it is important to make sure that we are doing everything we possibly can to keep the Lyceum up to code.
However, moving forward with these renovations has not been an easy process. Since beginning at Vanguard University almost two decades ago, Professor Susan Berkompas, head of the Theatre Department, aimed to improve the theater facilities for the growing community.
Berkompas explained that the Lyceum was originally used as a lecture hall. Therefore, it failed to include several important features necessary for a theater arts building. These assets will come with the remodel, offering space for costume and scenic construction, dressing rooms and a green room.
Lazaris elaborated that with Vanguard growing at such a rapid pace, improving the theater has not been a priority and has been pushed back to allow for other major projects.
Real estate developer Kevin Coleman and Vanguard’s Senior Director of Advancement Brent Theobald led the charge to making the dream a reality. The department needed to raise $650,000 to keep the construction on schedule to begin in August, a goal met with the help of patrons.
Eileen Leyva, a theater major and junior, is also excited about about the addition of bathrooms closer to the Lyceum.
“We currently have to use the maintenance bathrooms located behind the theater if we need to go during a show. This is very stressful as a stage manager because actors are constantly having to run back and forth from the stage,” Leyva said.
She is also excited because the addition of bathrooms in the new multi-purpose room also means that during classes, they will not have to leave the theater area.
For information on how you can make contributions to funding this important project, you may visit https://www.vanguard.edu/giving/priorities/theatre.