Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, the UCSB Department of Theater and Dance is well on its way to obtaining all of the money it needs to fund the construction of the new building that will become its future headquarters.
Department Chair Simon Williams said an anonymous donor recently contributed $1.25 million to help fund the construction of its new base location – located next to Hatlen Theatre – scheduled for completion in December. The donation will fund improvements to the new structure and pay for the installations of several dance, design and acting studios, as well as a 150-seat lecture hall, classrooms and administrative offices inside the building.
According to the Department of Theater and Dance website, the majority of the construction costs for the new building were supposed to be paid for by funds from the state. However, the department recently found itself $3 million short of its vision for the building; shortly after this realization, the anonymous donation was made.
Nicole Klanfer, the Assistant Dean of Development in Humanities and Fine Arts, said the donor did not want to publicly disclose his or her name for privacy reasons.
“They wish to remain anonymous,” Klanfer said. “They don’t want any publicity.”
Williams said the department is looking forward to the move from its current offices in the Old Gym to the new, state-of-the-art edifice. He said students and faculty of the department are extremely grateful for the donation and are excited that they will have access to a more modern structure.
Chad Mandala, a first-year English and dramatic arts double major, said he is eagerly anticipating being able to use the new building.
“I can’t wait to have a class there,” Mandala said. “I’m interested to see what the building will be like and if it’s up-to-date technologically.”
The new structure will connect to the Hatlen Theatre via a lobby and reception space, complete with an outdoor courtyard and sitting area.
Williams said the donation and the upcoming move are make him feel confident and energized about the future of the Theater and Dance Dept.
“The department is going great guns at the moment,” Williams said.