Located in the Irving S. Gilmore Theatre Complex at Western Michigan University are three performance spaces: the Laura V. Shaw Theatre, D. Terry Williams Theatre, and Zack L. York Arena Theatre. The complex also houses departmental offices, the scene and costume shops, and several classroom and rehearsal spaces.
The Design Studio in the Gilmore Theatre Complex serves the theatre, graphic, industrial and interior design programs. Twenty-four student workstations with drafting tables are equipped with computers and networked to a server and state-of-the-art printer and plotters.
The software available to design students includes AutoCAD, MiniCad with LD Assistant, Strata StudioPro, form Z, Poser, Painter, Photoshop, Fontographer, Streamline, Extreme 3D, and SoundEdit as well as Microsoft Office and FileMaker Pro.
York Arena Theatre
York Arena Theatre is a black box or experimental theatre that seats up to 115 in a flexible arrangement. The theatre is fully equipped with lighting and sound equipment.
The arena is frequently used for student-directed productions and the Footlights I and II series, as well as acting and directing classes. It is also the home of the York Arena Series consisting of two faculty-directed productions each season.
Shaw Theatre has 550 seats with a flexible proscenium, traps and a partial fly system. Shows are lit using a Strand, dimmer-per-circuit lighting system controlled by a Strand Mini Palette 90. More than 300 instruments are available for use in the space.
The theatre has a 16-channel audio system, including reel-to-reel, cassette, and DAT tape decks and four independent amplifier channels. The system also includes wireless body mics and can be arranged in a variety of configurations making it versatile for amplifying singers and actors or producing recorded music or sound effects.
At 70 feet by 70 feet, this black box theatre seats between 270 and 350 audience members, depending on which stage configuration is being used. The permanent balcony has 70 fixed seats; the main floor has eight units of 25 seats each on telescoping platforms that can be stored under the balcony area when not in use. These seating platforms can be arranged in numerous configurations including thrust, proscenium, corner, stadium and arena.
A full fly house extends over the main floor with 55 line sets that are able to fly scenery, lighting and soft goods. The floor is sprung to help prevent actors and dancers from injuring themselves.
The first gallery ring, which holds the balcony, can be used for audience seating on all four sides. The second gallery ring contains the stage manager's control room as well as the control rooms for lighting and sound. The third gallery ring is the catwalk level.