OGDEN, Utah, Nov. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities at Weber State University (WSU) (www.weber.edu/cah) will be opening the doors to the newly renovated Val A. Browning Center on November 11, 2015. For the last 50 years, The Val A. Browning Center has been one of Utah's premier performing arts venues. To kick off the season, the stage will welcome New York-based Aquila Theatre Company as they perform the Shakespearean classic Romeo and Juliet. The company's innovative style and approach to Shakespeare entertains audiences across America each year, including two past performances at the White House.
"The extensive improvements have enhanced the Val A. Browning Center's position as one of the ultimate venues for the arts in all of Utah," said Catherine Zublin, interim dean of the Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities. "Improving the experience for attendees also benefits the actors, musicians, and dancers who can perform in a more professional environment."
The public can expect to experience a state-of-the-art performance on stage and off. The layout in the Austad Auditorium has been completely redesigned for comfort and enjoyment. By removing fewer than 300 seats, the architect was able to add aisles that run north, south, east and west. Seat sizes in the Austad Auditorium and Allred Theater have increased from 17 inches to 23 inches, in order to provide additional comfort. Moreover, the shape, fabric and position of the seats now create optimal acoustics throughout the theater.
"We really want people to feel that attending our events is an experience," said Frank Bradshaw, director of the Val A. Browning Center. "To stand out, we have to do more than put on a show. We have to create an experience. These updates will help to do that."
The auditorium and theater also have been updated to comply with the most recent American Disability Act (ADA) guidelines. This includes additional spaces for wheelchairs that are balanced throughout the venues, bariatric chairs and designated aisle seats with a retractable armrest to assist with transfers between seats. Audience members with hearing disabilities will now bypass the previous headset system because the Val A. Browning Center is equipped with hearing loop technology. The sound system will work with visitors' hearing aids to transmit sound directly. For non-hearing aid users, there are now discreet, portable transmitters for use at no charge.
Fundraising for the updates began in January of 2015 and the project was expected to take more than six months. But because of generous funding received from the RAMP Program, the State of Utah General Appropriation Committee and private donors participating in the "Buy-A-Seat" campaign, the project was completed in just under three months. The theaters were updated simultaneously, minimizing time that student productions were placed on hold.
Romeo and Juliet will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m. on November 11, 2015 in the Austad Auditorium. Tickets are $19-$25 each and can be purchased online at WeberStateTickets.com. Tickets also will be sold beginning one hour before curtain at the Val A. Browning Center ticket office. Please purchase online or arrive early in order to avoid waiting in line.
For a full calendar of current and upcoming events please visit weber.edu/cahcalendar.
About the Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities
The Weber State University Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities teaches students to excel as they seek, understand, question and express complexities critical to the experience of being human. The Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities offers undergraduate degree programs in the following five areas: Communication, English, Foreign Language, Performing Arts and Visual Art & Design. Master's degrees also are offered in Communication and English. The college serves more than 2,000 undergraduate majors and 250 graduate students. The Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities is the Western region's foremost institution for student- centered teaching and research that investigates the human experience and aims to educate global citizens who are responsible, creative and critical artists, performers and communicators. For more information, please visit, (www.weber.edu/cah).
Christie Denniston, APR
Director of Marketing and PR
Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities Weber State University
SOURCE Weber State University, Lindquist College of Arts and Humanities