Our school has a history of deep affection and an esteemed reputation for the performing arts. Country Day’s strategic vision has long called for a new performance venue that would also be a gathering space for the entire school and a collaborative resource for our Lancaster-area community.
The combination of our current enrollment and the strength of our performing arts department means we have literally and figuratively outgrown the beloved, 50-year-old Steinman Theatre. The creation of Gardner Theatre marks a defining moment in our storied institution’s history.
This objective — close on the heels of the Physical Education & Athletics Center expansion — came within reach when the family of the late Eugene Gardner Sr. made a principal gift designated for the creation of a theater. Since receiving the Gardner family’s gift, generous LCDS families, alumni, and friends of Gene Gardner have come together with gifts that now total more than $10.6 million toward our $13 million goal.
Gardner Theatre will have 580 seats, an orchestra pit, state of the art lighting and acoustics, and fly space. With a full-sized stage and professional theater fittings, the new space will be able to host school musical and theatrical performances that will unleash students’ artistic potential to untold heights of creativity. Importantly, the space will welcome the student body for special assemblies, graduation, and presentations, all of which will enhance a core component of the school’s culture: inclusiveness among students of all grades, as well as faculty and staff. Gardner Theatre will share an elevator, lobby, restrooms, concessions area, and parking with the Physical Education & Athletics Center. Steinman Theatre will be retained for black box-style productions and as a much-needed rehearsal space.
Lancaster Country Day is committed to its role as a community partner and looks forward to introducing Gardner Theatre to groups throughout the region. Creative collaboration will surely be the order of the day and a further enhancement of our school’s programmatic goals. In addition, the new theater will be a prime venue to host speakers and workshops open to the public.
With your help, the Raise the Curtain! Capital Campaign will meet this goal and open the new theater in the fall of 2020.