Special Projects

Theatre fundraising in two acts

In 2017, NWU Theatre embarked on a renovation of McDonald Theatre in two acts.

Act I: Upgrade the performance space

In the summer of 2020, the auditorium got a makeover. New seating, a new air handling unit, improved acoustics, enhanced accessibility and higher quality flooring and walls make for a more comfortable audience experience. Early investment in the project allowed all interior demolition and construction to happen simultaneously, and a new, adaptable stage brought new life to performances beginning in 2020. Completing all interior work at once kept the project on track and on budget during an unpredictable year.

Intermission: Covid-19

Thanks to the brilliant creativity of NWU Theatre students, faculty, staff and alumni, McDonald Theatre kept us on the cutting edge throughout the 2020–21 season. With its fresh look and significant improvements, the theatre hosted socially distanced mainstage productions and virtual premieres of NYC-based songwriters’ new works.

Act II: Upgrade the experience

We still have work to do to ensure that McDonald Theatre is the premier performance space that Nebraska Wesleyan University and the Lincoln area deserve. Further behind-the-scenes mechanical improvements will allow NWU Theatre students to practice their craft more comfortably. A new entrance and lobby—including expanded restrooms—will draw audiences to NWU Theatre again and again not just for the talent on stage, but also for the complete theatre-going experience.

Thanks to a few generous NWU alumni and a grant from the Sunderland Foundation, Act I has been completed. Act II calls for a new cast and crew. If you’d like to help raise the curtain, please contact Mary Hawk at 402.465.2139 or mhawk [at] nebrwesleyan.edu.

The newly renovated McDonald Theatre looking out from the stage toward the seats.