Raising the Barn Theater

Barn ribbon cut
Cutting the ribbon at the new Barn Theater are (L to R): Stacie Lents, associate professor of theater and director of acting; Sheldon Drucker, University president; Stephen Hollis, director of the theater arts program and assistant professor of theater; and Richard Frick, associate vice president for facilities. (Photos by W. Scott Giglio)
Barn students 1
Big smiles all around as students, faculty and staff walk through the newly-renovated Barn Theater and applaud the space.
Barn students sit

By Kenna Caprio

One hundred theater arts students now have a brand-new black box theater to learn, rehearse and perform in at the Florham Campus.

“We’ll use the Barn Theater to produce new, cutting-edge content that supports and complements the Main Stage (Dreyfuss Theater),” said Stacie Lents, associate professor of theater and director of acting. “It’s the farm team for major league theater.”

University President Sheldon Drucker, Associate Vice President for Facilities Richard Frick, Director of the Theater Arts Program Stephen Hollis and Lents cut a ceremonial ribbon at the refreshed facility, which recently underwent a major renovation by Hollister Construction Services.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Hollis, noting that ten years have passed since he and the late Richard Turick, professor and program director, identified the Barn Theater as a second performance space. “He’d have loved to have seen this come to fruition.”

In addition to the updated minimalist theater — designed for an intimate viewing experience with the audience seated just off of the stage floor — the expanded and reconfigured space contains: two dressing rooms with specialized lighting and sinks, two faculty offices, a lobby area, a green room and two accessible, unisex restrooms.

Sophomore theater majors Savannah Lloyd and Joe Piserchio feel excited about the transformation and renovation.

“Just as this barn has been raised,” said Lloyd, “students will now be raised in artistic expression.”

“This gives Fairleigh Dramatics, an artistic outlet for students of all majors, a home,” said Piserchio, artistic director of the drama club. “The theater program is growing and just getting better each year.” Fairleigh Dramatics will debut “Musical Magic: A Disney Showcase” in the new theater December 4-6.

“The students’ writing, directing and creativity inspire all of the things that we do,” added Lents.

Students get to work right away with a first rehearsal in the Barn Theater tonight.