Theater and Dance Facilities

Kirby Memorial Theater

Kirby Theater Kirby Memorial Theater was designed in 1938 by James Kellum Smith of McKim, Mead & White, with the help of S.R. McCandless, a theater designer.  Kirby has since been upgraded to a state-of-the-art 384-seat modified proscenium house, with computerized lighting and sound equipment, a stretch-wire lighting grid, and a refurbished fly system. Kirby also houses our scenic and costume shops.  The scene shop is linked to the Holden Theater, easily serving both performing spaces.  Off to the right of the Kirby Theater lobby is Canfield Lounge, where we hold receptions, meetings and small classes. 


Holden Experimental Theater

Built in the late 1990s, Holden Experimental Theater is a 6,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art flexible theater with its own lobby, moveable seating, computer-controlled lighting and sound systems, catwalks, lighting grid, and dressing rooms.

 


Webster Hall

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Just up the hill from the Kirby and Holden Theaters is Webster Hall, which houses the Theater and Dance offices, lounge, and other work and performance spaces.  Webster Hall contains an audio lab, a design resource library, and four spacious studios for performance and visual design work.  Studios One and Three are equipped for performances, with flexible seating risers, and lighting and sound equipment.  Studios One and Two have sprung floors for dance and movement work.  An indoor link connects our space in Webster Hall to the Kirby and Holden theaters below.

Space Requests 

Kirby and Holden Theaters
Requests by student groups to use Kirby or Holden for the spring semester are due by October 31, and will be reviewed by the Theater and Dance Department in December.  Requests for the following fall semester are due by March 30, and will be reviewed by the department in May.  Requests to use Kirby or Holden should be sent to Jonathan Doyle at jmdoyle@amherst.edu
 
Studios 1, 2 and 3
Studio sign-up sheets are located in Webster Hall, next to the department office, Webster G27.  Please be aware of our studio reservation policy:
  • Webster studio space is primarily used for department academic use.
  • Priority is given to department needs and students enrolled in T&D courses.
  • Outside groups may sign up for space on a week-to-week basis.
  • Extensive or recurring requests must be approved by the department, and requested at least 30 days in advance.
  • Department needs may require reservations to be cancelled and rescheduled.
    • In most cases, you will be notified at least 24 hours in advance if your time needs to be changed.
    • Reservations cannot be cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice without faculty approval.
  • Unauthorized use (e.g. not signing up, intruding on rehearsals, damaging space, marking up the floor) will result in loss of access to studio spaces.
For questions about reserving studio space, please email Suzie Rivers at srivers@amherst.edu.

Extended use of studio space procedures for extracurricular groups
Extracurricular groups requesting the extended use of Theater and Dance Studio spaces in Webster Hall for rehearsal and performance must take the following steps:

First, e-mail the Academic Department Coordinator (Suzie Rivers) srivers@amherst.edu, by noon on Friday of the first week of class with the following information:

  • the name of each project,
  • a complete list of all requested rehearsal and performance dates and hours (including beginning and ending times) for that semester,
  • a list of contact information for the designated student producer for each project, and
  • the Theater and Dance Department faculty member with whom you propose to discuss the project. Copy this faculty member on the e-mail.

Second (and at the same time) set up a meeting with the proposed Theater and Dance Department faculty member to discuss possible academic conflicts and other parameters for using the space. After discussing the request with other faculty and staff, the faculty member will inform the student producer of the Department’s decision.

Third, once the faculty member approves your request, the student producer(s) must schedule a time to meet with the technical staff to discuss project timelines, safety procedures, technical limitations, and to ensure that properly trained and approved individuals are engaged to operate lighting, sound, and video equipment. We will also discuss procedures for scheduling pick up and return of props and available shop time for the construction of props and scenic elements.

Fourth, if you plan on performances for a general audience, the student producer(s) must also schedule a meeting with the Academic Department Coordinator to discuss proper front of house and crowd management procedures. A member of the extracurricular group will be trained in front of house management or a member of the Theater and Dance Department front of house staff will be engaged at the producing organization’s expense.

Finally, at the end of the project, the student producer and group members are responsible for returning the studio space to its original condition before leaving the space on the last scheduled day of use.

Audio Suite
In general, to use the audio suite, students need to have taken a related course and get approval from a faculty member.  In rare circumstances, students who have not taken a course may use the room if they demonstrate to a faculty sponsor that they know how to use the facility. No students may use the audio suite without a faculty sponsor from Theater and Dance or Music. Approval must be renewed each semester.

Other Spaces

The department supports student production in other spaces around the campus, including Marsh Arts House, Merrill Science Center, Johnson Chapel, residence halls, common rooms and outdoor sites.