Fox Cities Performing Arts Center
Exterior of venue (c.2011)
|Address||400 W College Ave
Appleton, WI 54911-5831
|Type||Performing Arts Center|
|Capacity||2,100 (Thrivent Financial Hall)
450 (Kimberly-Clark Theater)
|Broke ground||May 2000|
|Opened||November 25, 2002|
|Construction cost||$45 million
($63.9 million in 2017 dollars)
|Architect||Zeidler Grinnell Partnership Architects|
|General contractor||O.J. Boldt Construction Company|
The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, also called the PAC, is a performing arts center in downtown Appleton, Wisconsin, USA. The Center is the home of the Broadway Across America – Fox Cities series, the Boldt Arts Alive! series, the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Education Series, and the Fox Valley Symphony. The Center has hosted the Wisconsin premieres of the Broadway blockbusters Disney’s The Lion King, The Producers, Wicked, and Jersey Boys, Billy Elliot, Les Misérables, and Kinky Boots. President George W. Bush delivered a speech at the Center during a campaign stop on March 30, 2004.
In 1999, Aid Association for Lutherans, now Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, contributed $10 million – the largest philanthropic corporate gift in the history of the Fox Cities – towards the building of the Center. The Center’s board of directors and volunteer fundraisers raised $45 million in private contributions from over 2,700 local residents and businesses. The Toronto-based Zeidler Partnership Architects was hired to design the Center and in May 2000, the O.J. Boldt Construction Company began construction on the Center. Artec, Inc. provided acoustical and theatrical consulting for the Center. The Center opened on November 25, 2002, 31 months after breaking ground.
The Center is composed of:
- Thrivent Financial Hall. The theater’s 40-foot (12 m) proscenium separates a 5,000-square-foot (460 m2) stage (Wisconsin’s second largest) from the 2,100-seat theater of which no seat is further than 108 feet (33 m) from the stage. The theater walls are finished in a red Veneciano plastering technique, which complements the red seats and brass accents.
- Kimberly-Clark Theater. The 4,160-square-foot (386 m2) flexible black-box space featuring retractable telescoping seating risers and a portable stage platform. This 450-seat theater is used for receptions, banquets, lectures, and intimate music and theatrical presentations.
- Founders Room. A private room located off the Dress Circle Lobby that accommodates meetings or receptions of up to 75 people.
- Entrance 21. A private lounge located on the Dress Circle level available for pre-performance and intermission small gatherings during events at the Center.