University of virginia, ruth caplin thrust theatre
charlottesville, virginia

Project Team

Architect
William Rawn Associates

Theatre Consultant
Theatre Project Consultants

An academic theatre addition to the Department of Drama's building, the 300-seat Caplin Theatre pushes into a hillside and meets several challenges to the silence that underlies all drama. A formidable curtainwall wraps behind the seats, providing a view directly into the theatre from an active quad that lies on the main route from the marching band's rehearsal hall to the practice field. The glass wall keeps drum lines, Ultimate Frisbee players, and lawnmowers at bay. To further complicate matters, a green roof extends the landscaped area of the upper quad, inviting people directly onto the roof of the theatre. Backing the stage up directly against the mechanical room serving the theatre yields still more challenges. Adapting the green roof system and aggressively dealing with equipment noise help keep the peace.

Flexible AV systems and pervasive cable infrastructure allow the same AV components to redeploy as needed for theatrical effects, musical theatre, film festivals, lectures, and even the occasional concert.