J. Alton Keith Theatre
McEachern High School | Powder Springs, Georgia
A Magnet for the Arts
This 862-seat, 35,323 SF performing arts center at McEachern High School is one of the largest performing arts centers in the greater Atlanta area. Because of its size and comprehensive theatrical design, McEachern serves as a magnet location for the local community, drawing family, friends, students and faculty to enjoy live theatrical and musical performances.
The theatrical design for the multi-functional structure accommodates a variety of musical, drama and dance performances. Playful architectural features and components have been included to express dramatic verve and vitality, yet accommodate the traditional orientation of other campus buildings. The facility features a working fly loft and a full orchestra pit with a mechanical lift. Support spaces include the visual arts gallery, a practice and rehearsal wing for orchestra and choral groups, and complete stage-related storage areas, dressing rooms and set construction facilities.
The public areas of the theatre have also been designed to convey a sense of theatrics. These components include an oversized proscenium and bold interior detailing, which enhance the sense of presentation and attention toward the stage. “Starry night” pattern carpeting and “harlequin costume” wall coverings complement these components. The stage-set pre-function area features prominent pediments and classical artwork. Dramatic exterior lighting suggests the heralding searchlights of opening night, setting the scene for an enchanting night at the theater.
The project is noteworthy for the development of a graphical acoustic computer model of sound reflection used to evaluate acoustic properties for both voice and musical performances. The model served as the basis for the facility’s interior geometry.