Hall Auditorium additions complete

Photo by Laurie Hamame
A copper curvy roof glistens on Main Street, showing off a brand new theater addition next to Hall Auditorium.


After four years of design planning and 18 months of construction, the Eric Baker Nord Performing Arts Annex is open for tours and performances.

With recent renovation of Hall Annex, combined with Hall Auditorium and the new Eric Nord Annex, Oberlin College now boasts a theater complex, said managing director Eric Steggal.

Oberlin College, known for the theatrical arts, needed more space for practices performances, he said.

Most performances take place in Hall Auditorium, a 501-seat theater, and The Little Theater, which can hold 75.

The new annex offers rehearsal spaces, a costume and scene shop, classrooms, a laundry facility, and a brand new Irene and Alan Wurtzel Theater — a medium-sized venue that seats roughly 250, Steggal said.

Jointly, the second floor of Hall Annex was raised to allow more room on the bottom level. The lighting, plumbing, and heating and cooling systems were replaced thanks to a donation from composer John Kander. The Little Theater has been renamed in his honor.

Steggal said students should be excited because the additions represent a dedication and commitment from the college to provide the most comprehensive and industry-standardized curriculum.

“More performance spaces means more performances, and more performances means more ticket sales and tourists coming into downtown,” he said.

Tours are available and can be scheduled by calling the Oberlin College department of theater. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 13.