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Expanded UW Performing Arts Center Opens with Tours, Performances

September 25, 2015
dancers practicing in a sunny studio, with one hand on the barre
Students attending the recent Snowy Range Summer Dance Festival rehearse in the new Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts dance studio, one of many new amenities featured in the expanded and renovated facility that will be dedicated Thursday, Oct. 8.

Wyoming’s commitment to excellence in the performing arts will be celebrated with symphony and theater performances during the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the expanded and renovated University of Wyoming Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts Thursday, Oct. 8.

Tours of the facility will be offered beginning at 5 p.m., followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 6 p.m. Refreshments will be offered.

At 7:30 p.m., audiences will be able to attend either the Department of Theatre and Dance’s production of Christopher Durang’s rollicking new comedy, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” or a UW Symphony performance of “Porgy and Bess”  featuring guest artists Louise Topping, soprano; Robert Sims, baritone; and the UW Collegiate Chorale.

Tickets for the theater performance cost $14.50 for adults; $11.50 for senior citizens 55 and older; and $7.50 for UW students. Symphony tickets cost $10.50 for adults, $7.50 for senior citizens and $6.50 for UW students.

The facility is named in honor of former UW President Tom Buchanan, who worked to ensure the performing arts have the space and amenities necessary for quality academic instruction, student performance opportunities and public enjoyment. He will be among speakers at the ribbon cutting.

Construction of the project began in May 2013. It includes about 120,000 gross square feet of renovation of portions of the existing building, along with about 50,000 square feet of new construction. The new space includes a 256-seat Thrust Theatre and a 100-seat recital hall. Other new spaces include band/orchestra and choral rehearsal halls, and a second dance studio.

Existing space has been renovated to create light, sound and design labs; teaching and rehearsal space for musical theater; dressing and makeup rooms; and improved classrooms. The project includes vital sound isolation and acoustic work for instrumental music individual practice rooms and classrooms.

The performing arts have a long and proud history at UW, and the university’s programs have achieved national recognition. UW music, theater and dance graduates have gone on to successful professional careers throughout the country. They also fill important workforce needs as teachers in K-12 schools, among other jobs, across the state and region.

UW’s programs also embrace their mission to promote the arts across the state, including regular tours and performances around Wyoming through UW Fine Arts Outreach, which also brings students and educators to campus to work with major artists and UW faculty. And UW Cultural Programs offers a rich array of music, theater and dance performances by artists of national and international distinction.

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