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How renovations will transform the Stevens Center

Comprehensive renovations will enhance the audience experience and upgrade the performing arts theater for students who learn there.

Stevens-Center-Performing-Arts-balcony-stage

The theater was renamed for Roger L. Stevens when it opened after renovations in 1983.

Photo courtesy of J. Sinclair Photography

Table of Contents

UNCSA’s Stevens Center will close on Nov. 15 for renovations that will modernize the theater for students and patrons while making necessary repairs. Built in 1929 as a silent movie theater, the Stevens Center was last renovated 40 years ago — and the balcony has been closed since August 2021 because delayed roof repairs caused some surfaces to deteriorate.

Phase one

Work on phase one of renovations is expected to take two years. A major part of construction will focus on redesigning the lobby for a better patron experience. That includes:

  • Renovating restrooms
  • Updating concession spaces
  • Increasing accessibility + amenities
rendering-lobby

The lobby will retain the historic building’s character while modernizing guest amenities.

Rendering provided by Little Diversified Architectural Consulting

Critical upgrades will also be made to the exterior of the building. Repairs will be made to the facility’s terra-cotta façade, brick, and windows, and crews will ensure the theater is watertight. The roof will also be replaced. Back-of-house spaces like dressing rooms and the green room will be renovated. The NC budget approved in November 2021 allocated $29.8 million for this phase of renovations.

Phase two

This phase will focus on improvements to the interior of the theater — enhancing the audience’s experience with upgrades to the stage, technology, and its 1,380 seats. The balcony will also be reconfigured to improve sightlines. Funding totaling $51 million was included in the 2023-2024 state budget for phase two of the project.

students-backstage-technology

During the renovation, UNCSA will hold events on campus, throughout the city, and at High Point Theatre.

Photo courtesy of Ken Bennett

Works in progress

The box office has moved to Watson Hall (1533 S. Main St.) on the UNCSA campus. Students will present performances of “The Nutcracker” at the Steven Tanger Center for Performing Arts in Greensboro from Dec. 7 through Dec. 10. Before the Stevens Center closes, it will host two final performances: