Inside the New Theater

Take a look at what the recently opened new theater has to offer


Andrea Chen

The new blackbox control room offers new state-of-the-art technology for performing arts students.

With the start of the new school year, Woodbridge High witnessed the completion of the new theater, which offers an array of improved utilities for the arts programs on campus.

“When I was able to walk into a finished theater space I was so grateful for all the labor and hours that went into it. I was very excited about the warmth and intimate feel of the new space,” drama teacher Cassandra Gaona said.

The theater installation is far from over, though. There is still state-of-the-art equipment currently being installed.

“Technical theatre students get a little more exposure to everything because they will help with installing theatre equipment,” Gaona said.

Students are able to get a unique experience this year by having hands-on experience in setting up technical features.

The new theater’s amenities create better opportunities for the drama and music programs. Compared to the old theater, the new theater has a lobby, blackbox theater, catwalks, dressing rooms and more. With practice rooms, better acoustics, as well as a state-of-the-art lighting system, the new theater provides a fresh environment for students participating in the performing arts program on campus.

The second floor balcony offers an amazing view of the theater. (Andrea Chen)

In addition, technical theater students will now operate in the theater itself, and even have a designated room where they have ample space to work.

“On stage, we can have complete drops for scene changes,” instrumental music teacher Brad Harris said.

Formerly, the smaller storage area of the old theater limited prop storage, but the new theater’s prop room can host multiple large scale props without having to be disassembled for transportation.

Greater storage allows drama students better opportunities (Andrea Chen)

While the old theater seated approximately 300 people, the new theater doubles the seating with a second floor balcony. Moreover, the theater boasts a broadcasting system via televisions stationed throughout the complex. The broadcasting system is planned to display any ongoing shows throughout the area.

Though the music and drama department cannot fully utilize the theater yet, the programs have been able to utilize the theater in other ways.

“We are currently using [the theater] for a few of our larger classes that are over 22 students to accommodate social distancing in the classroom,” Harris said.

Because the music classrooms are smaller, the instrumental music department decided to use the theater’s stage as a classroom with socially distanced desks. The drama class utilizes the black box room as a workplace.

The second floor balcony doubles seating offerings from 300 to 600. (Andrea Chen)

According to ASB Media Commissioner and senior Chloe Selby, ASB does not have any plans for the theater as for now, but she hopes that ASB can use it in the future.

“When I first saw the theater [completed], I was in awe–last year it had felt like a hopeful dream, but actually seeing it in person was crazy!” Selby said.

In addition, many performing arts students anticipated the opening of the theater, so they are eager to perform with their classmates as well.

“I personally think it could be a fun way to support performing arts and create memorable experiences for many students,” Selby said.

Even if the new theater cannot be used for concerts at the moment, it is still versatile enough to accommodate other activities inside, such as classrooms. With high quality facilities, it is sure to provide a good venue for concerts and performances in the future.