Millard Auditorium
West Hartford, Connecticut

Isaac Stern gave the inaugural performance at Millard Auditorium in 1963. The primary performance venue of the Hartt School has since hosted hundreds of performances of dance, opera, theater, symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles, and soloists. The auditorium was recently renovated as the last phase of improvements to the Fuller Music Center. With funds limited, the renovation was targeted to improve the daily experience of students and faculty, while allowing for future upgrades to systems and equipment. Nextstage Design advised on reseating and reconfiguring the auditorium to provide better accommodation for patrons in wheelchairs. We designed new house lighting controls to integrate with a future LED theater lighting system, and we designed a loading gallery for the double purchase counterweight rigging system that greatly enhances safety and efficiency on stage. Acoustics for performance were improved and finishes were renewed. The fresher-looking and better-sounding auditorium is more welcoming to performers and audiences than any time since Stern first rosined a bow.

Institution
Hartt School, University of Hartford

Architect
Smith Edwards McCoy

Acoustician
Jaffe Holden

Construction Manager
Enterprise Builders

Users
Hartt School

Construction Type
Renovation

Square Feet
6,000

Cost
$2.1 million

Completion
2017

Spaces
400-seat multipurpose theater

Photo: © Nextstage Design