Preserving a Remarkable Space: The Shaw Auditorium

An integral part of the original Shaw Center, the Shaw Auditorium has been a center for student life since 1982. With seating for over 500, the Auditorium has hosted countless Homecoming plays, Baccalaureates ceremonies and Campus Organization for Social Activities (COSA) events in its 30 years.

This remarkable space enjoyed several enhancements during the Shaw renovations, while preserving some of its most special features. The space is still home to an impressive 23-rank organ. Seating in the Auditorium has also been preserved, with Graceland’s Music faculty praising the space’s unique acoustic elements.

Additions include an upgrade of technology and a redesign of lighting and sound systems. The orchestra pit has been replaced, giving theatre productions more staging capabilities. A wall that once separated the front from the back of the auditorium has been removed, making the space a more intimate area.

Student performers will also benefit from the updates to the green room backstage, where students gather before performances. By adding a portable wall to this area, students can now use this large room for two purposes at the same time.

The JR Black Box Theatre is a remarkable addition that the Theatre Department will enjoy. The Shaw Auditorium remains one of the largest spaces on campus where students can gather and enjoy the fine arts. With the new Shaw already bringing in renown talents like Arliss Howard, Jens Lindemann and the Fountain City Brass Band, this space will surely be full of anxious spectators throughout the years.

“With these new facilities, we will have the access to bring in some really high-caliber performers to entertain and educate us,” said Gary Heisserer, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.