John R. Emens College-Community Auditorium

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John R. Emens College-Community Auditorium
General information
Architectural stylePostmodern
Location1800 West Riverside Avenue,
Ball State University,
Muncie, Indiana,
United States
Coordinates40°12′04″N 85°24′25″W / 40.2011°N 85.4070°W / 40.2011; -85.4070Coordinates: 40°12′04″N 85°24′25″W / 40.2011°N 85.4070°W / 40.2011; -85.4070
Named forJohn R. Emens
Design and construction
ArchitectWalter Scholer & Associates

The John R. Emens College-Community Auditorium, or Emens Auditorium as it is known on campus, is an auditorium on the campus of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, United States.

The facility is used to host Broadway shows, plays, and university events, as well as regional events for eastern Indiana.

Emens Auditorium has a seating capacity of 3,581.[1] The Auditorium was opened on March 14, 1964, when Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians performed.[2]

Attached to the rear of the facility is a smaller theater used for performing arts shows.

Use the seating chart to help you determine the section where you would like tickets for Emens Auditorium events. If pit seats are available, those would be located in front of the main floor seats.[3]

General information[edit]

The cost to build (back in 1964) was in building Emens auditorium was $2,975,000.[4]

The architect of the building was Walter Scholer.

The contractor was Hagerman Construction Co., Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The stage features include a 144 feet wide by 45 feet deep: stage floor to gridiron is 78 feet.

The proscenium arch is 82 feet wide. A sixteen-ton fireproof curtain divides the stage from the house.

Its opening date or “Sneak Previews” for the public was on March 14 and 15, 1964, dedication, October 25, 1964.

The official name of the venue is John R. Emens College-Community Auditorium.

To build Emens Auditorium there was a huge fund raising of $1.5 million.

So the charity started in 1960 they succeeded this fundraising in January 25, 1964 and exceeded the $1.5 Million amount by $10,532.

The auditorium was named by the current president of the school John R. Emens.

There are plaques of remembrance on pillars and walls in the courtyard entrance of Emens Auditorium of major donors to the building fundraising.

After five years the auditorium was named for John Emens, the university honored his wife by naming the art-filled lounge on the auditorium’s second floor the Aline Brainerd Lounge.[5]

The campus adds more than $2 million to the local economy each summer and presents concerts to the public.[6]


"As fine a hall as the Salzburg Festspiel Haus and better than the San Francisco Opera House . . ." Spoken by Heinrich Keilholz, an acoustical engineer from Hamburg, Germany, these words are in praise of John R. Emens College-Community Auditorium.[7]

Ball State University's sixth president, John R. Emens (1945-1968), had a dream. He envisioned a "campus of the future" complete with an auditorium "large enough to house most college functions as well as major symphonies, Broadway productions, ballets, and other forms of entertainment for Muncie and east central Indiana audiences."[citation needed]

Planning for the auditorium began as early as 1947, but the U-shaped building was not actually built until 1961. The structure includes the Hargreeves Music Building, Arts and Communications Building, and the 410-seat University Theatre.[citation needed]

Emens's dream was finally realized on March 14–15, 1964, when the auditorium gave its first performances in the form of a "sneak preview," and then it was officially dedicated on Oct. 25 the same year.[citation needed]

In its first 25 years alone, more than 3.6 million people visited the then 3,581-seat auditorium to see 2,335 programs. The legendary acoustic, scalloped ceiling, and state-of-the-art sound capabilities of Emens Auditorium account for the attraction of many artists to performing in this facility.[citation needed]

Since the grand opening in 1964, many world-renowned artists, individuals, musicians, and shows have graced the stage of Emens Auditorium. Legendary performances range from President Ford, David Letterman, Stevie Wonder, Louis Armstrong, Victor Borge, Magician David Copperfield, comedian Adam Sandler, musicals Cats and Les Misérables, Red Skelton, B. B. King, The Temptations, Third Eye Blind, and the Dixie Chicks.[citation needed]

Bill Cosby could not have said it better after a performance in 1969: "This is the greatest hall I have ever played . . . the greatest acoustics."[citation needed]

John R. Emens and Aline B. Emens Scholarships[edit]

High school seniors who have actively participated in and provided leadership for academic and extracurricular activities in their high school and local community are eligible to apply for this award. The value of the Emens Scholarship varies from year to year. In recent years it has been the value of one-half the amount of in-state tuition and is determined annually based on the availability of funds.

These awards are for eight semesters and are subject to an annual review of the student's leadership activities and academic progress.[8]

Performers and speakers[edit]

In October 2013, Emens featured appearances by:[9]

Bob Knight: one of the few coaches to have reached 900 wins

Florida Georgia Line: With their "Here For The Good Times" Tour, Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard known as Florida Georgia Line, have several hit singles that have topped the charts. Their mega-hit song 'Cruise' has now spent a total of 17 weeks in the No. 1 position on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart - the longest any song has held that spot in 50 years.

Rhythmic Circus: a troupe of 11 internationally renowned artists, created and performs the applauded theatrical production that celebrates the indomitable power of the human spirit. An award-winning ensemble pilot the audience on a musical voyage telling the tale of four tap dancing misfits who cross paths with a nutty private investigator possessing the extraordinarily bizarre power to halt time.

Soledad O'Brien: an award winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor and producer. O’Brien was the originator of Black in America and Latino in America.

Jason Mraz: Grammy winning singer and songwriter

Bradley Fields: captivates the audience with his famous magic illusions, as he turns them on to the history, the power and beauty of the language of Math!

Hello Dolly: first produced on Broadway in 1964, winning ten Tony Awards including Best Musical. This classic has become one of the most enduring musical theater hits, enjoying three Broadway revivals as well as international success. The 1969 film adaptation starring Barbra Streisand was nominated for seven Academy Awards. The show's album, Hello, Dolly!, an Original Cast Recording, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002.

The Price Is Right: the hit interactive stage show that gives contestants pulled right from the audience the chance to "Come On Down" to win appliances, vacations and even new cars by playing classic games from television's longest running and most popular game show.

Hunter Hayes: The Country Music Association's choice as the best New Artist of 2012 earned his trophy because of his intense, single-minded dedication to his music. Hunter Hayes works at his craft virtually every waking hour. In his world, there are no days off.

Sierra Hull: the first bluegrass musician to receive a Presidential Scholarship to the Berklee College of Music. Signing with Rounder Records at the age of 13, Sierra has always had a passion for her music. In the past three years, she has received five International Bluegrass Music Association nominations.]


  1. ^ "About Emens". Retrieved 12 April 2012.
  2. ^ 1964 Orient Yearbook. p. 164.
  3. ^ "Seating Chart". Ball State University. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
  4. ^ "Richard Emens on behalf of his parents". Ball State University. Retrieved 11/12/13. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  5. ^ "Emens entering 50th year creating history". the star press. Archived from the original on 2013-11-19. Retrieved 11/07/13. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  6. ^ "Big names Emens through years". the star press. Archived from the original on 2013-11-19. Retrieved 11/11/13. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  7. ^ "About Emens". Ball State University. Retrieved 11/02/13. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  8. ^ "John R. Emens and Aline B. Emens Scholarships". Ball State University. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
  9. ^ "Past Speakers" Check |url= value (help). Ball State University. Retrieved 2013-11-18.

External links[edit]