Waukee Theatre Arts Center

Waukee, IA

All projects
Curved front entry
Interior lobby looking outside at dusk
Side view from top row of seats in the theatre
Exterior night shot into interior lobby
Lobby detail of building name lettering
Exterior overall of the building
Interior looking out from the stage

As part of their facilities master planning process, the Waukee Schools decided to move forward with a theater arts addition to their Prairieview School. Since the District already had a large traditional auditorium at the High School, this project offered an opportunity to create a unique thrust theater configuration that would serve as a venue for theater and spoken arts performances. The audience surrounds the stage on three sides in this type of theater, which creates a very different performing and viewing experience. The audience’s proximity to the stage is much more intimate; in this case no one is farther than 35 feet from the performers. In order to provide even more flexibility for set pieces and lighting options, a 40’ by 40’ continuous tension wire grid catwalk is provided 19’ above the stage and audience seating.

The Theatre Arts Center is self-contained so it can be used after school hours as a stand-alone facility for productions and events. A separate public entrance opens into a spacious lobby featuring a dramatic image projection wall and display casework. Also included in the addition are a scene shop, an ample back stage, storage space, a green room, and dressing and make up rooms.

Design Insight

Provided the Waukee District a wonderful opportunity to introduce an innovative and unique performance space unlike any in the Des Moines metro area.