Located directly behind the H. Dale Hemmerdinger Auditorium, on the Nightingale-Bamford School's lower level, is the brand new Lauder Family Black Box Theater. The strength of this multipurpose space rests in its apparent simplicity. The room is flexible enough to support student-developed shows, drama productions, music rehearsals, dance rehearsals, PE classes, and a variety of parent association events and meetings.
This “signature space” of Nightingale’s new schoolhouse was conceived for “all students–from Lower, Middle, and Upper School–to use as an additional space for classes when doing dramatic pieces of work,” said Diane Davis, head of the drama department.
“We’re planning for it to be used by the students who are interested in presenting their own works of theatrical art,” she continued, adding that, “it can be set up in any way–theatre-in-the-round, coffee houses for Upper School, rehearsals.”
Although it is an intentionally “unfinished” space, Associate Director of the Drama Department Cynthia Coudert noted that current and planned features include soundproofing curtains, a lighting system, sound integration, and other audiovisual equipment. “Plus, the [new choral] risers fit the space beautifully,” she added.
“The choral risers are a wonderful additional to both the auditorium and the theater,” said Ms. Davis. Since the black box and auditorium share a backstage area, items can be easily utilized in both spaces.
The black box is named for the Lauder Family, whose generosity made the space possible. While visiting the new theater, Danielle Lauder '12 said she hoped it would "provide a safe space for students to try things out, to be creative, and to do student-led performances."
Dance, physical education, and Lower School music classes have already found ways to use the room. “It’s a great additional teaching space, and it’s nice that it's empty and large,” said Allison Trotta, head of the dance department. “I'm excited for the possibilities it will bring for additional showings, and the kids are so excited about it, as they always are about the idea of any new space–especially a big open one.”
These spaces are made possible by the generosity of donors to the Every Girl campaign. You can still support our efforts by making a gift today! To donate online, click here.