Sonoma State's Evert B. Person Theatre, built in 1989, has entertained thousands for almost three decades. And now, 25 years later, the theatre has been renovated with new paint, lobby furniture and reupholstered theatre seats, all done in time for Friday's opening night of the student production of Fiddler on the Roof.
Enhancing the theatre's fresh look is a new photography collection by renowned 20th century photographer Philippe Halsman, on loan from the SSU University Art Gallery. This unique collection was recently donated through a generous gift of Trevor Pitts facilitated by Barry Singer Gallery of Petaluma.
A native of Latvia, Halsman began his career as a photographer in Paris during the 1930s and later worked for several major U.S. publications, including Life magazine. The collection includes numerous famous portraits of politicians, scientists, movie stars, stage actors, singers, and dancers.
"The Department of Theatre Arts & Dance produces truly amazing productions year after year in Person Theatre. We are grateful to the faculty and staff who helped realize this fresh look," says Thaine Stearns, Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities.
SSU President Ruben Armiñana shared his gratitude for its namesake, Evert B. Person, for his family's investment in Sonoma State through their creation of student scholarships and an endowment fund that have supported more than 1,000 students in their pursuit of excellence in the performing arts.
"Fiddler on the Roof," a co-production by the Depts. of Music and Theatre Arts & Dance, runs though Feb. 16.
ABOVE, Phillipe Halsman portrait of singer Marion Anderson who broke racial barriers by singing in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 1939 after being denied the stage at Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Theatre seats have been reupholstered, new carpeting laid.