Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center Debuts at Gonzaga University
May 13, 2019
The Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center at Gonzaga University’s grand opening featured a variety of performances that demonstrated the excellent acoustics and surprisingly intimate feel of the 750-seat theater. Designed by Pfeiffer and named for the Spokane resident, businesswoman and philanthropist whose donation made the project possible, the 52,000-square-foot facility provides much needed facilities for the music and theater & dance departments. Along with fostering interdisciplinary collaborations between the departments, the new Center establishes a keystone for a projected Arts Village, encompassing the Jundt Art Center and Museum. The two main performance spaces in the new Performing Arts Center are the 750-seat multipurpose Fr. Bernard J. Coughlin, S.J Theater, with adjustable acoustics and the Martin and Edwidge Woldson Recital Hall, a recital/rehearsal space with telescoping seating for 170, crowned with a dramatic starburst orchestral canopy, along with a multidisciplinary design studio—all served by a central lobby with sweeping views to Lake Arthur. Adjacent to the theater is an unusual component, the Woldson Wing, a full-scale recreation of the sitting rooms from Myrtle Woldson’s house, including her personal furnishings–a museum-like series of spaces that will serve as both an educational experience and a tribute to the life of the donor and her commitment to the performing arts. The new Center, made possible by her support, has furthered the Jesuit university’s mission to initiate a new era of leadership in the creative arts and humanities and has provided the Spokane community with the first newly constructed performing arts venue in over four decades.