The Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts

The School of Communication’s principal artistic home is the recently renovated Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts. The center produces and manages the performing arts productions of the School of Communication, Department of Theatre, and Department of Performance Studies, and has the programmatic responsibility for theatre, music theatre, and dance. Lobby and entrance remodels will comfortably welcome Wirtz visitors to the preeminent performing arts facility on the North Shore of Chicago.

Each year, as many as forty productions are mounted in its four different performance venues: the 439-seat Ethel M. Barber Theater, the newly remodeled and accessible 288-seat Josephine Louis Theater, the 100-seat Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater, and the 100-seat Mussetter-Struble Theater — as well as in the University’s 1,000-seat Cahn Auditorium. The Wirtz includes two multipurpose dance and theatre studios, the South Rehearsal Room and the Bergen. The costume shop supervises and creates costumes for all productions; the enormous, industry-renowned scene shop, connected to all theaters in the Wirtz Center, centralizes all stage design and lighting work for the productions.

These craft areas, including computer labs to facilitate design, are staffed by talented, seasoned professionals and are equipped with state-of-the-art resources and materials, providing all students with an opportunity to learn firsthand the fundamentals necessary for creating stage magic.