Washington College, Daniel Z. Gibson Performing Arts CenterWashington College, Daniel Z. Gibson Performing Arts Center
© Robert Creamer Photography
© Robert Creamer Photography
© Robert Creamer Photography
© Robert Creamer Photography

Washington College, Daniel Z. Gibson Performing Arts Center

Chestertown, Maryland

The Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts was developed in order to reclaim the performing arts as the focus of Washington College’s liberal arts experience while providing a new open and inviting face on the campus. Auerbach Pollock Friedlander provided theatre and audio-video consulting for the renovation and expansion.

The project entailed a full renovation of the 600-seat Tawes Theatre, the addition of an experimental theatre and a recital hall; all to be accommodated within the footprint of the existing Gibson Hall.

The plan began with the development of a new balcony for Tawes, renamed the Alonzo and Virginia Gent Decker Theatre. The existing second level of the Gibson building was renovated into a lobby shared by the Decker Theatre and the new recital hall. The renovated theatre is a more intimate and well-proportioned space of 450 seats, providing for the College’s programmatic needs and broader community events and productions. New rigging, lighting and sound systems were included in the renovations.

The Hotchkiss Recital Hall, located on the second floor with a glass façade overlooking the campus’ main pedestrian path, is an inviting and acoustically excellent space for the College’s music program. Its stage connects directly with the renovated music studios and faculty offices in the existing Gibson facility.

The new Tawes Experimental Theatre, seating 175, is a fixed seat space with a thrust stage that provides a laboratory for both technical design and performing arts students.

Architect: GWWO, Inc.
Acoustics: Acoustical Design Collaborative, Ltd.
Size: 70,000 SF total; 19,000 SF Renovation, 51,000 SF new
Cost: $24,000,000
Completion: 2009