The main stage theater space on campus, the CFA Theater (lo- cated at the back of the charming cement complex that is the CFA) is a great space for both visit- ing groups and department performances. A professional-sized house with all sorts of nifty tricks, it features an adjustable prosceni- um, trapped stage, rigging system, and hydraulic pit! Performances at the CFA Theater range from the standard audience-in-the-house, actors-onstage setup to reversals of the norm, both actors and audi- ence onstage, actors in the house, garbage in the house…the prosce- nium doors can even be closed to make the theater effectively a black box!
Ezra and Cecile
Home to the University’s fine arts, the Zilkha Gallery has two main display spaces for stu- dio (and, occasionally, perfor- mance) art, as well as classrooms and the administrative offices for the Center for the Arts. Directly across from the studio art work- shops, the Gallery is a wonderful place to relax, take in new art- work, and get away from the rush.
Located in the Center for Film Studies, near the CFA, the Goldsmith Family Cinema is home to Wesleyan’s renowned Film Series. Run by the wholly student Wesleyan Film Board, the Film Series is a year-round event in the Goldsmith Family Cinema that shows four films a week, typically two new—and I do mean new, last-summer new, not 2004 new—and two classics (last year we had “Star Trek” AND “Drunken Master”). Their reputation is simple, but impressive: the common claim is that the same film will never be shown twice in your four years here (no promises if you take longer!). Occasionally the film series people make truly epic things happen, like last year when “Up In The Air” was shown, followed by a seminar/come- dy routine by director Jason Reitman (who incidentally was waitlisted here back in the day). Spacious though the theater may be, you should get there early for tickets—many of the movies are packed.
Crowell Concert Hall
With its giant, ground-level windows, it sometimes feels like Crowell is a building designed to in- spire envy from those who couldn’t get tickets and can only walk past, gazing in forlornly (don’t let that be you!). Easily recognizable as the first building on your left in the CFA, Crowell Concert Hall is home to… well, to concerts, but concerts of everything from Bach to rock, and the occasional other performance as well.
The former CFA Cinema (and you still occasionally see it referred to that way), the CFA Hall is a small space that’s now mostly used for classes that involve its giant projec- tion screen. Arts events—especially talks and film screenings—do still go on there sometimes.
World Music Hall
You may not visit it as much as other CFA locations, but the World Music Hall is worth a visit: it’s home to Wesleyan’s famous Javanese gamelan. For those of you who don’t know, a gamelan is technically oneinstrument, but westerners would be more likely to call it an orches- tra—it takes dozens of people to play. Gamelan performances—tra- ditional ones incorporate shadow puppetry—and other intercultural offerings are offered in the World Music Hall, which is a versatile enough space to accommodate near- ly any performance.
Chapel, you say? I know what you’re thinking, freshman, “I went to a liberal arts college because I don’t believe in God.” Don’t be so skeptical: You’ll probably still want to show up at Memorial Chapel for some of the events hosted there. Over the course of the year the cha- pel, conveniently located on college row in between the ’92 Theater and
South College, hosts many speak- ers and musical performances. The best from last year was when the residents of Music House performed Arcade Fire’s “Funeral” in full at the chapel on a Saturday night. People also get married there a lot, which is pretty funny to watch as you walk to class.
Don’t listen to what anyone tells you about Eclectic being a bunch of cocaine-snorting, heroin-addicted hipsters (it’s not like they’re going to share with you anyway). What they will share with you are shows, fairly consistently every weekend, for the entire year. Sometimes the music’s good, sometimes it’s great, and sometimes you’re too drunk to care. If you’re at all interested in the music scene (or drugs) at Wes, you’re bound to end up here a lot.
Patricelli ’92 Theater
Home to Second Stage, Wes’s student-run theater group, the ’92 Theater was first built in 1892 as the University’s library before being re-purposed after Olin’s construction in 1928. For those of you fearful of us- ing 82-year-old equipment, fear not! The theater was renovated in 2003, so the building is (sort of ) bright and shiny new! Second Stage is also widely respected for their diligence about safety. (It has been 155 days since someone was stabbed in a Second Stage production!)