Goel Center for Theater and Dance

Elevating the Arts at Exeter

The David E. Goel and Stacey L. Goel Center for Theater and Dance displays our commitment to elevate the performing arts and place them with other disciplines at the heart of the Exeter experience. More than a quarter of Exeter’s student body participates in theatrical productions each term, and over 150 students take dance lessons or participate in the 16 student-run dance clubs. Exeter’s current facilities cannot properly support this level of student interests, nor the degree of innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration faculty wish to pursue. Classes, rehearsals and productions are presently scattered across campus in mostly makeshift spaces.

With two theater stages and two dance venues (plus technical studios and classrooms), the center will deepen and diversify our students’ experience with performance, design and technical operations. It will give faculty their first teaching spaces designed to the specifications of a modern theater and dance program.

This 63,130 square-foot facility will serve a broad range of students — from generalist to expert performer — with an array of performing, teaching, rehearsal, technical and public spaces. The mainstage theater will be a modified proscenium venue with 350 seats and an orchestra pit to serve drama, musical theater and dance. The thrust stage theater, with seating for 149 on three sides, will serve student productions as well as faculty-directed pieces. Dramat, Exeter's student-run theater organization, will have its own space in the new center. This will provide serious theater students with a dedicated location in which to experiment and rehearse.

The dance performance studio, with 119 seats, will serve not only as a classroom but also as Exeter's first performance space designed specifically to dancers' needs. It will offer appropriate sight lines and a sprung floor. A second dance studio will be used primarily for classes and rehearsals, as well as small workshop performance.

The center will provide theater and dance teachers with their first Harkness teaching spaces, where students can move seamlessly from table discussion to performance exercise. It will also include a scene shop, costume studio, technical galleries and state-of-the-art equipment.