Smith Learning Theater Toolset

Opening formally during the 2017-2018 academic year, The Smith Learning Theater offers an entirely new range of possibilities for supporting ambitious learning, teaching, and research activities in the library. The information below describes some of the design elements of theater events.


The main Theater space is 6000 square feet with 8 columns and a theatrical pipe grid to carry elements of infrastructure (e.g., power, data, lighting control, etc.) and facilitate hanging elements (lights, projectors, screens, curtains, etc.). Power, data, and AV systems are available at the ceiling and the floor level throughout the space permitting a virtually unlimited number of configurations. The Theater support team can leverage a set of integrated networks that converge in a Control Room. Many technologies can be blended to achieve sophisticated program effects for maximum learning impact. Download the Theater Floor Plan.


The Theater can be equipped with diverse sets of physical objects to support the learning goals of programs. Space dividers and definers set the stage for smaller scale elements and props that contribute to the build-out of the space. Both conventional stagecraft and showcase components are employed to achieve the desired effects.


A reception area for ticketing and registration activities supports Theater events. Sponsors can make tickets available to the College community and beyond. The space can accommodate up to 100 guests, although events with 60 guests offer the optimum active learning ratio (OALR) of 100 square feet per learner. Refreshment stations and food serving areas can be configured to meet program needs. Adjacent restrooms and coat check locations are available.


The Theater lighting system includes both a base lighting configuration ("House Lights") and theatrical lighting. Lighting can be designed for each program including specific lighting looks and choreographed light changes. Solar and blackout shades provide a range of natural-light options.


Theater infrastructure supports video projections at varying scales as appropriate for content and event configurations. Video can be displayed on screens as well as on most surfaces throughout the space. Wired and wireless microphones also can be located throughout the space to permit audio amplification and capture. Speakers are located throughout the theater space to support background music, custom program configurations, and special audio effects.

Data Capture and Data Visualization

Theater infrastructure supports a range of data-capture equipment and techniques as dictated by the needs of a particular learning, teaching, and/or research event. Real-time data can be accessed and displayed throughout the theater space. In addition to in-house capacities, the Theater supports the addition of more specialized Internet of Things (IoT) components unique to particular learning goals and events.

Recording and Broadcasting

Theater activities can be captured on video for archiving and research purposes. Cameras can be mounted throughout the space on the ceiling grid and columns, as well as from placements anywhere on the floor. The Theater can be configured as a studio to support the production of programs for both live and delayed broadcast. Audio production and recording is enhanced by multiple audio channels, a concert-quiet HVAC system, and acoustical glass applied to the 120th Street-side windows to mitigate street noise.