Eastern Oregon University > Academics > Accessibility for all in Loso Hall

Accessibility for all in Loso Hall

Accessibility for all in Loso Hall

McKenzie Theatre under construction
McKenzie Theatre, EOU’s main performing space, is undergoing a transformation to improve seating, staging and accessibility.

Oct. 5, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. – As the school year begins at Eastern Oregon University, renovations in Loso Hall are in full swing. Students walking to class will notice the exterior stairs on the east side of the building being updated, as well as the northern entrance walkways. What they have yet to see are the state-of-the-art renovations happening inside Schwarz and McKenzie Theatres.

Renovations to the building commenced this summer and aim to be completed by February 2021. By then, both theaters will resemble professional stages and will be more ADA accessible. 

Kenn Wheeler, Associate Professor of Theatre at EOU, said McKenzie Theatre is undergoing transformation in phases. The first phase included updating the seats and stage access to include two walkways on either side, leading up to the stage. 

“They will be getting new seats, they’re changing the lighting system and the sound system and updating those,” Wheeler said. 

The smaller performing space at EOU, Schwarz Theatre, is undergoing major renovations that include portable seating, as well as new LED lighting.   

Schwarz Theatre under construction
Schwarz Theatre renovations include stairless entry and a rotating stage.

“In the small theater, they have done and are doing some amazing things,” Wheeler said. “The first thing they’re doing is bringing the floor up to ground level so there won’t be any need for steps when you enter and exit the space. The other awesome thing they are doing that I am really excited about is, they’re putting in a revolving stage… so we can actually revolve the acting space as we are performing and that’s an exciting thing to be able to do.” 

Wheeler said he is most excited about being able to provide students with experience in a professional theater environment.

For more information about Loso Hall and upcoming productions, visit eou.edu/theatre

By PR Intern Emily Andrews