On-Campus Theater and Performance Spaces

The CalArts School of Theater’s main performance space is the Walt Disney Modular Theater, one of the most unique stages in the world. A vast black box, this facility’s variable architecture supports an unlimited range of stage and seating configurations. It can be used as an arena stage, a proscenium, thrust, or oriented in any number of unconventional configurations.

The School of Theater also features two additional black box spaces, a “cabaret style” performance space, as well as a multi-use studio/performance space. These venues are used for student productions, guest artist residencies, workshops, curricular studio work, as well as hands on technical training for all School of Theater métiers.

Students also collaborate on projects in CalArts’ other schools and performance spaces: The Sharon Disney Lund Dance Theater, The Wild Beast, the Roy O. Disney Music Hall, the Main Gallery, various other studios and sound stages, and an assortment of non-traditional venues.

Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT)

CalArts' multidisciplinary center for innovative visual, performing and media arts is located in the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex in downtown Los Angeles. REDCAT’s comprehensively outfitted performance space can be transformed into several different configurations, from thrust and end stage to in-the-round, while adaptable seating can accommodate an audience of 250. The theater features superb acoustics, with moveable panels that can be adjusted according to the requirements of each performance. The space is also equipped with 35mm, 16mm, and digital projection systems.

Studios, Shops, and Labs

The School of Theater operates a series of shops and labs to support the curricula of various Programs as well as the extensive slate of productions each year. These facilities include rehearsal studios, a design studio, scene/painting shops, a costume shop, a lighting lab, a sound studio, a computer lab, as well as costume, property, and scenery storage facilities.

Rehearsal Studios

The School maintains seven unique studio spaces. Each is equipped with a dance floor, mirrored wall, piano, lighting/sound options, and a general complement of studio furniture including acting cubes, rehearsal doors, and tables.

Design Studio

A collective environment that houses the work spaces for the entire MFA design cohort. Each student has for their use during their time at CalArts a desk and storage in close proximity to their peers within their own métier as well as those in the other design métiers.

Scene Shop

The professionally managed and maintained 5,000-square-foot scene shop consists of an expansive wood shop, metal shop, CNC room with router, lathe and vacuum form, as well as a fully stocked rigging room and tool cage.

Costume Shop

At approximately 3,500 square feet of workspace, it is one of the largest educational costume shops in the country. Equipment includes:

  • 12 cutting tables with shelving and tool cabinets underneath
  • 28 draping forms
  • 20 feet of permanent hanging pipe rack
  • 2 industrial ironing stations
  • 8 industrial sewing machines
  • 1 blind hemmer
  • 1 purl edger
  • 2 industrial overlock sergers
  • 2 baby locks
  • 6 domestic sewing machines
  • 6 pattern file cabinets

Within the shop is a dye room facility with two large vats, electric hot plates and a separate washer and dryer. There is also a laundry room facility with two washing machines and dryers. Both rooms have two deep stainless multi-gallon sinks. A section of the shop is dedicated to craft work, including a fume hood room. There are two private fitting rooms and a fabric/notions secure supplies cage.

Light Lab

The Light Lab is a specialized room designed to hold a large lighting setup, which is stocked with many different varieties of lighting equipment, and several computerized control systems. Several manufacturers in the lighting entertainment industry sponsor students by providing practice equipment for mockups and exercises. In addition, CalArts has an Electrics Shop adjacent to the Modular Theater, where students are instructed in the practice of assembling and repairing lighting equipment, to better understand the tools for design. 

Sound Lab

A space for the development of content and programming for the sound design program.

Media Lab

A space for the creation and development for Interactive Media for Performance, including virtual reality and augmented reality content.

Computer Lab

The School of Theater maintains a computer Lab running both Mac and Windows operating systems.

Management Offices

The Management Offices are work areas where the students from the producing, management, and technical direction métiers have individual workspaces in a shared environment.