Mesa Center for the ArtsMesa Center for the Arts
© Timothy Hursley
© Timothy Hursley
© Timothy Hursley

Mesa Arts Center

Mesa, Arizona

Auerbach Pollock Friedlander provided full-scope theatre consulting on the Mesa Arts Center, starting with preliminary planning and detailed project programming. The Mesa Arts Center has four performance venues: the 1,582-seat Tom & Janet Ikeda Theatre, the 553-seat Virginia Piper Repertory Theatre, the 200-seat Nesbitt/Eliott Playhouse and the 150-seat Farnsworth Studio Theatre. There are also numerous performance education studios and dance facilities; all of which were part of the firm’s scope of services.

Prior to initiating design, Auerbach Pollock Friedlander assisted with public programming sessions, tours of community performing arts assets, interviews and discussions with potential end users. The firm synthesized the data gathered from the community and crafted a Center to meet the needs of Mesa’s arts scene with capacity for future growth.

The designs of the four performance venues – three proscenium theatres of varying sizes and a black box theatre – show the firm’s versatility and range. The canyon-inspired design of the Ikeda was developed with adjustable acoustics for a variety of musical performances from symphonies to soloists. The Piper Repertory Theatre contains a modified thrust and is designed to provide an intimate experience and connection for both the audience and the performer. The raked stadium-seating of the Nesbitt/Elliott Playhouse was designed specifically to house “Stageworks” – the Mesa Arts Center’s resident children’s theatre. The black box theatre provides flexible seating for theater, cabaret, receptions, meetings and exhibitions.

Architect: BOORA Architect
Acoustics: McKay Conant Brook
Size: 212,755 SF
Cost: $70,000,000
Completion: 2004