Hylton Named in Top 25 ‘Most Amazing’ College Campus Theaters

Posted: March 6, 2014 at 5:01 am, Last Updated: March 7, 2014 at 6:44 am

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By Justin Lafreniere

the Hylton Performing Arts Center

Opened in 2010, the Hylton Performing Arts Center at the Prince William Campus is deemed “most amazing.” Creative Services photo

Perhaps the crown jewel of the Prince William Campus, the Hylton Performing Arts Center is getting some well-deserved recognition as one of the most beautiful college theaters in the country.

According to Best College Reviews, the Hylton Center made the “Top 25 Most Amazing College Campus Theaters” and cracked the top 10. The ranking, at number 9, calls the Hylton Center “an architectural splendor.”

Opened in 2010, it is one of the newest venues to make the list, and joins well-known and established venues such as Carnegie Mellon University Theatre, University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman Quadrangle and the Yale Repertory Theatre.

Rick Davis, executive director of the Hylton Performing Arts Center and associate dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, says that he was “surprised, but delighted” about the designation.

“The Hylton Center is amazing,” Davis says. He cites the architecture, its elegance “without pretension,” its consideration of both performer and audience in its sightlines and acoustics and its public areas, which are “airy and open with lots of glass and a rich color palate,” for an “energetic vibe,” says Davis.

“The Hylton Center represents a shared vision and dream between Prince William County, the City of Manassas, and George Mason University to build a state-of-the-art cultural center,” Davis says. Funding for the Hylton Performing Arts Center was secured by all three working together and creates “a true partnership between the university and the community, with a strong element of civic pride,” Davis adds.

Designed by Holzman Moss Architecture in New York and Hughes Group Architects in Sterling, Va., the main opera house at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, Merchant Hall, seats 1,123 people and has a 100-foot stage, as well as an orchestra pit. The Gregory Family Theater seats 240 and offers a more intimate, customizable setting for a variety of different special events.

“I urge everyone in the Mason community to come look at our newest cultural asset,” says Davis, “and see how amazing it is.”

Write to Robin Herron at rherron@gmu.edu

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