Hill School Arts Facilities
The Center For The Arts (CFTA) is The Hill School’s 31,000-square-foot visual and performing arts center. The CFTA houses the Center Theatre, a 700-seat proscenium theatre that serves as a learning laboratory for budding actors and actresses, scenic and lighting designers, and theatre technicians. The stage has a 50-foot wide proscenium arch and is 35 feet deep. It boasts a computerized lighting system, a recently upgraded digital sound system, a 27-line counterweight system, and 100-foot-high loft where scenery can be hung to clear it from the stage.
The CFTA is the home to the Burton A. Merriam, Jr. P'07 Black Box Theatre (The BAM Box), which was constructed in the fall of 2018. The BAM Box accommodates 65-70 people and is used for smaller, intimate theatrical productions.The Boyer Gallery is located on the ground level of the CFTA. The CFTA is located at 760 Beech St.
Student artists and musicians make the second floor of the CFTA their home. There is a large practice room where the Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, and other student instrumental groups rehearse, as well as seven individual rooms for students to practice on their own time. Students in all levels of Studio Arts learn and create in the spacious arts studio, which has both fluorescent and track lighting to accommodate for various lighting needs.
The second floor also has a new keyboard lab which features 13 KORG Kross Music Station Keyboards that are connected to a GECIII Group Education Keyboard Controller. This audio routing system allows for individualized instruction in our Class Piano course.
The BAM Box is located on the main floor of the Center For The Arts next to the entrance of the theatre. Constructed in 2018 by Technical Director of the CFTA Mike McKibben and Hill's theatre tech students, this creative 34’ x 26’ space includes seating for 65-70 people.
A true black box theatre, the room is lined in heavy 12’ x 9’ black curtains, which enhance the sound and create a more intimate atmosphere. A ¾-round set up includes two sections of two rows of seating, and one section of three rows of seating. To better accommodate the third row – and give the audience a better view – the third row of chairs sit on a custom-built 8” high platform.
This space includes innovative technology similar to what is used in professional theatres. A custom grid above the “stage” space hangs from steel beams in the ceiling by chains. To eliminate feedback from the actors’ microphones, speakers are mounted on the grid and point down toward the audience. “Intelligent lighting” is controlled by an iPad. The black box theatre crew can simply change the direction and color of the lights with a touch.
The Boyer Gallery is one of the finest facilities of its kind in the tri-county area, providing approximately 2,000 square feet of well-lit exhibit space. Indented wall space juxtaposed with a handsome curved wall and a built-in oak bench creates the perfect setting for two and three dimensional works. Well-known regional artist Mildred Sands Kratz has described it as “the finest exhibit space on the East Coast.”
The Gallery presents a series of art exhibits each year, including solo exhibitions of local and regionally recognized artists, as well as area art guilds and student shows. The Center maintains a permanent collection of area artists who have exhibited in the Center as well as works of exceptional Hill students. The Boyer Gallery was dedicated on October 3, 2003 in honor of The Boyers, an area family that has, for generations, made significant contributions to the local community as well as The Hill School.
The Boyer Gallery naming ceremony was timed to coincide with what would have been the 60th reunion year of James K. Boyer, Hill class of 1943, who passed away in March 1991. The Boyer Gallery recognizes the ongoing role played in the region and at The Hill by Jim's wife, Nancy L. Boyer, an accomplished artist in her own right and who has had exhibits on display in the Gallery. The Boyer Gallery also acknowledges service to the School provided by the Boyers' sons: Walter L Boyer, Hill class of '74 and former Hill School trustee; and James K. Boyer, Jr., Hill class of '72 and secretary of his Hill class. James and Nancy also have two daughters, Mary Ann Boyer Hall and Patricia Boyer. The Boyer legacy at The Hill has included Jim Boyer's father, Daniel B. Boyer, Hill class of 1907, and several uncles, cousins, and grandchildren.
The Hill School's electronic media facility consists of a 20’ broadcast quality video production trailer and a separate television studio in the Widener Arts & Crafts building. The production trailer is outfitted with a Tricaster 460, a Soundcraft Si Expression digital audio console, Blackmagic Design and Marshall video monitors, Blackmagic Design digital video recorders, Panasonic HD cameras, and more.
The 20’ x 25”studio features a Philips Strand LED lighting system and chroma key green, black, and CBS gray cycloramas. Field production packages include Panasonic AVCHD, P2, and 4K cameras, Sony wireless microphones, and Lowel lighting kits. The post-production area houses Apple iMacs with Adobe Creative Suite software networked to a 70TB shared storage video server. The facility is used to teach video production as well as to support HillTV and to produce video content for the School.
The studio is under construction for the 2019-20 academic year. The updated facility will be housed in the new Shirley Quadrivium Center, which is scheduled to open in fall 2020.
Arts Facilities Rental Information
The Hill School arts facilities are designed for a number of individual and group activities, and can be reserved for meetings, presentations, weddings, showers, recitals, and other events. If interested in renting one of our facilities, please review the rates and guidelines listed below. For additional questions pertaining to rentals, please contact Anna Taylor, Administrative Manager and Assistant Technical Theatre Director for Center For The Arts, at 610-705-1039.