Header Image - Blackstone Hall

Sisters theatre at Blackstone Hall

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"I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being."

– Thornton Wilder

bravo! bravo!

Audrey Morgan - Theatre Dedication

A new era for the fine arts at Berry dawned with the fall 2017 dedication of Sisters Theatre, a 9,226 square-foot addition to Blackstone Hall that opens up a world of opportunity for students in the dramatic arts. The name honors the love shared by project champion Audrey Morgan and her late sister, Dr. M. Bobbie Bailey. 

“I was very blessed to have as my sister Bobbie Bailey,” Morgan said at the Oct. 6 dedication. “Our lives as sisters and best friends were entwined for 85 years; our names as business partners entwined for 55 years. And now with this beautiful new theatre on the Berry campus that I love so much, our names are going to be entwined for years to come. Tonight is truly a mountaintop experience for me. I could not be happier or more honored.” 

The emotional dedication ceremony brought down the curtain on the two-year Blackstone Challenge, launched by Morgan in 2015 to improve and enhance Berry’s theatre facilities. Her initial commitment of $1 million in matching funds inspired others, and giving soared past $5 million in one year’s time. At the September 2016 groundbreaking, a second $1 million commitment was announced, this time from the foundation of her late sister. A few months later, at the February 2017 "topping out" of the new facility, President Steve Briggs announced the completion of the $6.7 million campaign.

Fittingly, the first Berry production in the new theatre was Crimes of the Heart, a story about sisters. Faculty and students alike raved about their new black-box performance space, which includes balcony seating and room for up to 276 patrons, depending on the needs of a particular play. Complementing the new facility are enlarged and updated production areas in Blackstone, essentially doubling the amount of functional space available to the theatre program.

“There is such an opportunity in the new space for students and faculty to learn and grow while practicing our craft,” said Director of Theatre Anna Filippo. “With the new technology, the ability to configure the theatre seating and the fresh new look, Berry College theatre can offer students valuable training to take them to their first jobs and through their careers. We are truly grateful to everyone who has helped make this happen.”