The Forbes Center for the Performing Arts is comprised of the Dorothy Thomasson Estes Center for Theatre and Dance and the Shirley Hanson Roberts Center for Music Performance and houses five state–of–the–art performance venues: the Mainstage Theatre (450 seats), the Concert Hall (600 seats), the Recital Hall (196 seats), the Studio Theatre (200 seats) and the Earlynn J. Miller Dance Theatre (200 seats). It also includes classroom, rehearsal and office facilities.
Dorothy Thomasson Estes Center for Theatre and Dance
Named by Ed and Susan Estes, the Dorothy Thomasson Estes Center for Theatre and Dance houses faculty offices, classrooms, computer labs, costume and scene shops, as well as dance and acting studios. The Mainstage Theatre, Studio Theatre and Earlynn J. Miller Dance Theatre are located in this building.
The 450–seat Mainstage Theatre is a proscenium theatre designed to accommodate guest artists and choreographers, faculty, and faculty–directed works performed by student actors. The space provides an intimate relationship between performers and audience members. Features include a flexible thrust stage, a fly space for full–length backdrops and set pieces, as well as state–of–the–art lighting and sound. Orchestra, balcony and box seating all offer outstanding views of the stage.
Home of the Stratford Players and JMU Children's Theatre, the 200–seat Studio is an experimental theatre designed for student–directed, student–designed and student–acted performances. It is a highly flexible space for staging and audience seating; directors may choose theatre in the round, three–quarter and proscenium seating — their imaginations are their only limitations.
Earlynn J. Miller Dance Theatre
Student dancers perform choreography of guest choreographers, faculty and fellow students in the 200-seat Earlynn J. Miller Dance Theatre. The theatre also welcomes performances by visiting artists. The dance theatre contains telescope seating units, a basket weave structure under a maple floor, full-length mirrors and theatrical lighting, sound and drapes.