Westside Neighborhood School in Del Rey has dedicated a new performing arts theater, completing a year-long process of research, design and construction.

The school officially opened the theater during a ribbon cutting ceremony Nov. 29, followed by a student performance.

The theater space includes a 1,100-square foot stage, as well as storage and backstage support areas. Among the features are a state-of-the-art sound system, theatrical lighting, a backstage and green room, new chairs for the audience and a red velvet front curtain.

“This new theater represents a grand example of a collaborative effort to design a theater and stage that will inspire a full range of creative performing arts activities at WNS that includes dance, music and theatrical productions,” said Brad Zacuto, head of school.

School officials noted that the theater project was completed through a collaborative design effort by faculty, students and administrators.

Middle school students in the school’s Architectural Club, led by their teacher Lorena Hong, created a 3D mock-up of the theater. The effort also involved a faculty committee that toured local school and community theaters to study stage designs, and parents with expertise in dance, music, theater, sound engineering and construction.

Officials credited fundraisers and efforts from the entire school community with helping to make the project possible. Last March at the school’s annual gala, the school community came together and raised the money needed to build out the stage and create a new theater.

“Our program fosters future collaborators, innovators, and creative artists who perform stories from long ago and can help to forge a path to a better future by creating new stories,” said Desiree Friedmann, performing arts coordinator. “This stunning new stage not only underlines the importance of this creative process, but it also provides a clearly defined space for these stories to be shared.”

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