Students, Faculty Appreciate Redesign of Theatre
Gonzaga University’s Russell Theatre has received a renovation thanks to a $1 million donation by longtime Gonzaga benefactors Harry and Colleen Magnuson of Wallace, Idaho and is now named the Harry and Colleen Magnuson Theatre.
Harry Magnuson, a founding member of Gonzaga’s Board of Trustees, past chairman of the Board and current Trustee, and wife Colleen generously donated the money toward renovation of the historic theater. Under construction the past six months, the theater season officially opened Oct. 24 with a presentation of Sam Shepard’s “Curse of the Starving Class.”
The renovation includes a rebuilt interior west entrance from College Hall, an updated lobby with new heating and air conditioning systems, and cozy new seats with plenty of leg room for audience members. The west entrance features a drop-ceiling with period light fixtures and a 4-foot door with marquee and transom. Lobby upgrades include a painted tin ceiling, gas fireplace and alabaster bowl lighting. The renovation also includes handicap-accessible seats and aisle lights. This marks the first phase of a multi-phase project.
Further upgrades to basic mechanical and electrical systems may begin as early as this winter. Also planned are: a new suspended ceiling and insulation, both in the performance area and at the back of the house, upgraded theatrical lighting, and sound and information systems. The entire renovation is expected to be completed by fall 2009.
Upcoming productions include “The Winter’s Tale” by William Shakespeare, directed by Gonzaga’s Brian C. Russo, associate professor of theatre arts, at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 23, 24, 29, 30, and 31; and 2 p.m. on Feb. 1.
Following in the spring will be “Urinetown: The Musical,” a collaborative effort between Gonzaga and Whitworth universities, directed by Rick Hornor, professor of theater at Whitworth. Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. on March 26, 27, and April 1, 2, 3; and 2 p.m. on April 4.
For more information, visit the department Web site or contact Brian Russo at (509) 313-6551 or via e-mail.