Thomas Theatre

Continuing the Black Swan tradition of performance in a state-of-the-art theatre.

NEWTHE10001The Thomas Theatre was born out of the tradition of the Black Swan—OSF’s intimate and greatly loved third theatre venue that closed its doors to performances at the end of the 2001 season. After 25 years, the need for a more flexible performance space became overwhelming. In the Thomas Theatre, as in the Black Swan, OSF continues its commitment to exploring different styles of theatre that create a provocative dialogue with the classic repertory produced in the Allen Elizabethan and Angus Bowmer Theatres.

                                                        What’s in a Name?
2000_ConstructionIn 2000 OSF announced the largest capital campaign in its then 67-year history to build a new theatre and increase the Endowment Fund. The campaign exceeded its goal by raising more than $22 million. The Allen Foundation for the Arts of Bellevue, WA made the lead gift to the campaign for what was called the New Theatre. Its $6 million challenge grant helped raised more than $8 million in additional gifts from the OSF Board of Directors. The Foundation then released the naming rights of the theatre to a future donor for a gift of $5 million or more. That challenge was met in April of 2012 by a group of donors comprised of The Goatie Foundation, Roberta and David Elliott, and Helen and Peter Bing. The donor affiliated with The Goatie Foundation had the original impulse to honor the legacy of longtime OSF Development Director Peter Thomas, who died in March 2010, and reached out to the other two supporters to join her in naming the New Theatre in Peter’s honor. So in 2013 the New Theatre will officially become the Thomas Theatre. The President of The Goatie Foundation said “For many OSF patrons, Peter was our personal connection to the art and the artists at OSF. His kind spirit and dedication to the audience made us feel part of the OSF family. My love of Peter combined with my passion for the work on stage inspired this gift.”

Facts about the Thomas Theatre:

  • Building design by the architectural firm of Thomas Hacker and Associates of Portland.
  • Theatre space design by Richard L. Hay, Principal Scenic and Theatre Designer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
  • Acoustical Engineer, Dohn and Associates of Morro Bay, CA.
  • Contractor, Emerick Construction of Portland.
  • Flexible seating; stage in ¾ thrust (270 seats), arena (360 seats) or avenue configuration (230 seats).
  • Construction started: November 2000.
  • Grand Opening: March 1, 2002.
  • Total floor area: 33,000 sq. ft. on four levels.
  • Theatre room area: 70 ft. wide by 82 ft. long.
  • Trapped floor of acting area: 22 ft. wide by 34 ft. long; trap room is 12 ft. below.
  • Acting area for arena staging: 663 sq. ft. max.
  • Acting area for avenue staging: 1,236 sq. ft. max.
  • Acting area for ¾ thrust staging: 710 sq. ft. max.
  • Fly loft is 70 ft. wide by 13 ft. deep; battens fly to 37 ft. above stage floor.
  • The acoustical clouds and scenery doors allow for 18 ft. high scenery.
  • Stage lighting: control console is an ETC Obsession I/1500; there are 360conventional fixtures: 24 Color Mixers; 12 Moving Lights; 66 cyc lights, 300 stage lighting circuits; there are six lighting catwalks over the acting area.
  • Dressing rooms: space for 18 actors.
  • Total cost for the Thomas Theatre and the city-owned parking facility: $11.8 million.
  • Flexible audience seating exists in other theatres, but OSF is the only theatre in the world that changes its seating configuration on a day-to-day basis in rotating repertory.