With its white walls, tall windows, and plush seating, the newly opened Huss Center for the Performing Arts is truly a work of art on its own. However, many students may not see more than that. Aside from becoming a new place to study, socialize, and hold assemblies, the Huss Center seems to be a simple extension of the school; for some students at St. Paul Academy and Summit School, this building represents a new chapter in the school’s history.
While SPA’s debate team and other academic programs have long been praised as some of the school’s most impressive groups, the Drama program has time and again been overlooked and undervalued. The Huss Center features an auditorium capable of seating the entire Upper School, with state of the art sound engineering and a large stage that will allow the Drama program to make itself right at home.
“Rehearsals [for performances] were at the lower school campus on Goodrich. it’s a nice space but it took a while to get everyone over to there in order to rehearse, so we lost a bunch of time doing that every day,” junior Phoebe Edith said.
Regarding thoughts on the theater’s and stage’s significant size change, senior Justin Zanaska added, “It’s a bigger stage, and that allows us to try lots of different things we weren’t able to [at] the small lower school.”
The relocation of the Drama department to the Upper School will also provide students with an interest in Drama the opportunity to try it out for the first time. “It’s a really fun thing to do and it’s always nice to work with a large variety of people. I hope it’ll make theater seem more accessible to people who want to try it out, even if only for one show,” Edith said.
With the dates for the fall play The Laramie Project quickly approaching, the Huss Center will no doubt help the Drama program continue to excel. “I am so incredibly grateful to the people who donated in order to make it possible,” Edith said.