Texas Tech Maedgen theatre reopen after renovations

J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts School of Theatre & Dance
Published: Apr. 28, 2023 at 9:32 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - It’s showtime for Texas Tech students in the newly renovated Charles E. Maedgen Jr. Theatre.

The entire project, including the classrooms and labs, has been in construction for six years. The theatre was the final part.

“The shell of the theatre looks the same but nothing in it is the same,” the Director of the School & Dance, Mark Charney, said.

After many years of work, Charney said this is a dream come true.

“We have sort of the same setup you’d have in a Broadway house in terms of mechanisms that move the scenery, in terms of, especially, of projections,” Charney said.

There are new shops for designing sets and costumes. There are 350 lights and 30 speakers in the Maedgen. In the same building, the new classrooms, labs and black box theatre opened in 2019.

Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec is calling the facility world class.

“Texas Tech is a world class institution; we should have world class facilities,” Schovanec said. “We don’t everywhere, but we can say we do in the Department of Theatre and Dance.”

Charney said while it’s easy on the eyes, it’s even more heartwarming to see how it will impact education.

“It’s beautiful to look at, but it’s even more beautiful to see how well it serves the students,” Charney said.

Bailey Patterson, a Master of Fine Arts candidate in the Department of Theatre and Dance, said artists will create art anywhere, but a facility like this will add more opportunities.

“Being able to come here to Tech where there are sort of world class facilities allows us to push the boundaries of what art even is in the first place,” Patterson said.

Patterson came to Texas Tech after seeing how much support Red Raiders have for the arts. She hopes to return to her small rural town in Wyoming and share what she’s learned.

“I think Texas Tech is really at the forefront of bringing theatre, dance, arts and culture to the Lubbock community, which is relatively rural and isolated itself,” Patterson said.

Charney said this renovation will grow the department.

“We were recruiting in spite of our facilities, and now we can recruit because of,” Charney said.

Charney said Texas Tech is student-centric and he’s thankful for the administration to put a spotlight on the arts.