Chapman University

Photo Credit: Doug Gifford
Project Overview
Location: Orange County, California
Customer: Pook Diemont & Ohl, Inc.
Architect/ Consultant: Pfeiffer Partners/Theatre Projects Consultants

Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Center for the Arts

On its opening day in March of 2016, the new Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Center for the Arts landed itself on the map as one of the most breathtaking new performance facilities in the country. Nestled in the small city of Orange, California within Chapman University, the expansive, 88,000 square-foot performance center will feature state-of-the-art facilities that will allow the school’s arts program to grow. For such a project, collaboration was needed between many different parties – including, but not limited to: architect Pfieffer Partners, acoustician Nagata Acoustics, theater consultant Theatre Projects Consultants, theatre contractor Pook Diemont and Ohl (PDO), and Staging Concepts. Because of this collaboration, Chapman University was able to develop an architectural icon that can now meet the needs of their accomplished Conservatory and Music/Theatre departments.


The Musco Center features 1,044 seats on three levels and a full-scale stage house that houses an intricate, multi-part, 120,000 pound shell that is integrated into the environment around it. Knowing that the theatre would be used for drama, dance and symphonic activities alike, world-famous Yasuhisa Toyota from acoustician Nagata Acoustics designed a fully flown orchestra shell that allows a transformation from a proscenium theatre to a concert hall in less than an hour. Toyota’s list of works include the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the revamped Sydney Opera House and other venues internationally.


Although its grandiose and incredibly beautiful view can make the theater seem as though it is comprised of a sea of acoustical walls, seats and space, the $82 million arts center was designed specifically by Pfeiffer Partners to incorporate not only an impressive grand design, but also an intimate space when needed. Along with impressive and cutting-edge AV and lighting technology, the center features stage traps, orchestra lifts, motorized curtains, fly towers and a large new stage. Staging Concepts was honored to be part of this project by supplying an intricately designed stage trap. Working with PDO, Staging Concepts created a stage trap made of 28 4’x4’ platforms that suspend by Relia Beam aluminum spanners about 10’ above the trap room floor. Platforms are a steel structure with acoustical dampening and a hardwood surface, which was finished on site. The stage includes 50+ stage line sets for lighting, scenery, drops and soft goods. Along with this, the beautiful proscenium opening spans a grand 62 feet wide by 26 feet high and 50 feet deep.



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