Informally dedicated at a luncheon on April 20, 1969, the $21M Krannert Center for the Performing Arts houses an underground parking complex, four indoor theaters, and an outdoor amphitheatre on seven acres. The complex was architected by Max Abramovitz, a University of Illinois graduate who was partially responsible for New York City's Lincoln Center. The Center plays host to more than 350 performances a year, and its Great Hall is used for professional recordings by nationally recognized artists. The complex is built on an impressive scale, with underground parking accommodating 650 vehicles, and the five theaters seating nearly 4,400. The technical achievements of the complex are unparalleled, including locating the air conditioning plant on the roof of the nearby ISR dorms to eliminate noise transference.
Each of the five theater spaces is designed for a specific type of performance. The Foellinger Great Hall, named after Hellene Foellinger's younger sister, Loretta Foellinger Teeple, is the largest of the spaces, seating 2,078, and is designed primarily for instrumental and vocal performances. Features such as almost perfect symmetry and special chair material replicating the sound absorption properties of the human body, lead to superior acoustic properties that make the room a popular performance hall for professional recordings.
The Tryon Festival theater seats 979 and is used for "performances of opera, ballet, modern dance, musicals, plays, and concerts by soloists and small ensembles". The Colwell Playhouse is used primarily for theater and dance performances and seats 674 people. The Studio Theater is a "black box" that has no permanent stage features and instead can be transformed into any desired form, including repainting the floor. It is primarily intended for experimental theater and seats small audiences of 200 people on risers surrounding the stage, affording a much more intimate setting for performances.
The lobby features a café and lounge, whose profits are used to fund further performances at the Center. The Intermezzo café opened in 1981, was spawned out of former Associate Director Ron Beebe's restaurant experience, while the Interlude lounge was opened in the late 1980's.
|Selected Images of Krannert Center|
Below is a selection of images of the Krannert Center. These images may be viewed for personal use only and may NOT be republished in any form. To use one of these images in a U of I presentation or Web or print publication, please click on the "download" link beneath each image to download the image free of charge.|