Experience all kinds of fabulous performances in our Mary W. Sommervold Hall and our Belbas Theater.
Mary W. Sommervold Hall
The Husby Performing Arts Center’s most well known space is the Mary W. Sommervold Hall. Workers gutted the old auditorium, stage and gym from roof to bare ground to create this new space. The roof was raised two levels to provide space for the balcony and ventilating systems. The Mary W. Sommervold Hall is six stories tall, 99 feet wide, 160 feet long and accented with a dark plum color.
Superior acoustical quality was the prime goal for the Mary W. Sommervold Hall, and audiences and performers alike praise the excellence achieved by the architects and construction teams. Magnificent quartzite panels, from a demolished college building in Springfield, SD not only resonate sound, but also provide an aesthetic tie to the Pavilion’s exterior. In addition, baffle curtains can be dropped over the panels to muffle amplifiers. Continental seating (no center aisle) also aids the sound quality and prevents the loss of prime seats. The acoustic shell encircling the entire hall and the concrete flooring beneath the seats are other sound features. The cloud system in the ceiling consists of house lights and adjustable panels that enhance the hall acoustically and aesthetically.
Other interesting features of the Mary W. Sommervold Hall: The stage area viewed through the proscenium is 44 feet deep, 48 feet across and 28 feet tall. The stage lip has four levels: stage, floor (allows for 55 patron seats), orchestra pit and basement. The hall’s orchestra level seats 1,000, the mezzanine seats 500+ and the balcony, 250+. With 55 seats on the stage lip at floor level, total seating capacity approaches 1,900. Seating for people with special needs is available on all levels. All fixtures of the Mary W. Sommervold Hall are new, but the decorative plates on the aisle seats are replicas of the ones from the Washington High School auditorium.
Backstage of the Mary W. Sommervold Hall, a wall of graffiti, created by the Washington students over the years, is preserved behind glass. Performers playing in the Mary W. Sommervold Hall today memorialize their visit by signing a new “graffiti wall” backstage.
This 300-seat performance space, the Husby Performing Arts Center, hosts a variety of programs such as musical ensembles, lectures, dance and piano recitals.