Dr. Phillips Center Announces Major Gift For Acoustical Theater and Phase 2
Wednesday, June 3, 2015– Orlando, FL – Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts announced today that with a new lead gift of $12 million from Chuck Steinmetz and Margery Pabst Steinmetz the planned third theater will be named Steinmetz Hall. The first lead gift was received in 2013 from Dr. Phillips Charities.
“The acoustical theater for music, ballet, dance and other performing arts that depend on the purity of sound is a key component of the complex,” says Kathy Ramsberger CEO and president of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. “We are deeply grateful to Chuck and Margery for moving us forward on Phase 2 by naming the acoustical theater.”
The 1,700-seat Steinmetz Hall will join the existing 2,700-seat Walt Disney Theater and the 300-seat Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater already in operations since the Dr. Phillips Center opened in November 2014. Both existing theaters rely on amplified sound while the new theater is designed to transmit sound to all listeners without amplification. Steinmetz Hall will be home to the Orlando Ballet and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, the arts center’s resident companies. It will be a versatile space that can be used for a variety of events. The floor will convert from angled to flat so that the theater can be rented for special events.
“One of the best decisions we made was to divide the project into two phases,” said Steinmetz. “As difficult a decision as it was, it allowed us to get this project started and now it is time to finish the project and bring all of Phase 2 to reality.”
Steinmetz Hall will allow every listener to sit close to performers. A shell around the stage will eliminate the separation many stages create between performers and listeners. The shell also will be retractable, allowing the stage to accommodate scenery. Every component of Steinmetz Hall will isolate vibration from external sources so that theatergoers hear only the sound of the performers.
The arts center's timetable calls for completing fundraising in 2016 with a projected ground breaking in spring of 2016 and opening in 2019. The projected cost of Phase 2 is $185 million and approximately $45 million is left to raise toward the completion of the project. More than $150 million in private philanthropy has been raised for both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project.