Little Theater receives needed makeover

The Little Theater is shown during the remodel by the Delventhal Company and Kohler Architects.

The Little Theater has been undergoing renovations since mid-October. Construction is expected to be completed by Dec. 10, and the theater will be ready for use by the start of winter 2020.

Jack Burns, director of campus planning and facilities, said the theater is getting a much-needed facelift. The chairs, carpet and curtains will be replaced and new wheelchair ramps will be installed.

In addition, the renovations will transform the space to make it an adequate space for both academic and dramatic uses.

“Before, it felt like you were doing a play in a classroom,” Burns said. “Our focus this time is to make it feel (like) more of a theater.”

Delventhal Company and Kohler Architects are the project’s contactor and architects, respectively. The budget for the renovations is $349,500.

Burns said the project has been meeting budget thus far.

Burns said he hopes to increase the number of productions that are performed in the Little Theater and bring in a wider variety of acts, such as acoustic sessions or performances by small groups from the Agora Chorale or the MCCC Symphonic Band.

“We’re hoping that this (renovation) will spur that kind of thing,” Burns said. “I think it will be transformational for the theater group and the Humanities and Social Sciences Division.”

Professor Lori Jo Couch is the head of MCCC’s Writing Center. Couch, who hosts a poetry night in the Little Theater once a semester, said she looks forward to using the renovated space.

“It will be a more usable space,” Couch said. “We’re excited to have the renovations.”

Burns said the renovated theater will be renamed after former MCCC professor John “Doc” Holladay.

Holladay was employed at MCCC for 46 years. He taught English and philosophy.

Holladay also taught poetry and drama in the Little Theater.

Couch said Holladay was the one who first suggested the theater be renovated.

“He was innovative, a leader on campus,” Couch said.

Holladay’s history with the Little Theater sparked the college’s idea to rename it in his honor.

“It’s really neat to be able to honor someone who contributed so much to not only the college but to all the students,” Burns said.