Gilmore Theatre Complex

  • Front of the GIlmore Theatre Complex at night.

    Gilmore Theatre Complex

Located in the Irving S. Gilmore Theatre Complex at Western Michigan University are three performance spaces: the Laura V. Shaw Theatre, D. Terry Williams Theatre, and Zack L. York Arena Theatre. The complex also houses departmental offices, the scene and costume shops, and several classroom and rehearsal spaces.

Design Studio

The Design Studio in the Gilmore Theatre Complex serves the theatre, graphic, industrial and interior design programs. Twenty-four student workstations with drafting tables are equipped with computers and networked to a server and state-of-the-art printer and plotters.

The software available to design students includes AutoCAD, MiniCad with LD Assistant, Strata StudioPro, form Z, Poser, Painter, Photoshop, Fontographer, Streamline, Extreme 3D, and SoundEdit as well as Microsoft Office and FileMaker Pro.

York Arena Theatre

York Arena Theatre is a black box or experimental theatre that seats up to 115 in a flexible arrangement. The theatre is fully equipped with lighting and sound equipment.

The arena is frequently used for student-directed productions and the Footlights I and II series, as well as acting and directing classes. It is also the home of the York Arena Series consisting of two faculty-directed productions each season.

Shaw Theatre

Shaw Theatre has 550 seats with a flexible proscenium, traps and a partial fly system. Shows are lit using a Strand, dimmer-per-circuit lighting system controlled by a Strand Mini Palette 90. More than 300 instruments are available for use in the space.

The theatre has a 16-channel audio system, including reel-to-reel, cassette, and DAT tape decks and four independent amplifier channels. The system also includes wireless body mics and can be arranged in a variety of configurations making it versatile for amplifying singers and actors or producing recorded music or sound effects.

Williams Theatre

This black box theatre boasts dimensions of 70 feet by 70 feet, accommodating an audience ranging from 270 to 350 individuals depending on the chosen stage configuration. The permanent balcony features 70 fixed seats, while the main floor incorporates eight units of 25 seats each on telescoping platforms. These platforms, when not in use, can be conveniently stored beneath the balcony. The flexible seating arrangement options include thrust, proscenium, corner, stadium, and arena configurations. The theatre incorporates a full fly house above the main floor, equipped with 55 line sets capable of flying scenery, lighting, and soft goods. To enhance safety, the floor is sprung to reduce the risk of injury for actors and dancers. The first gallery ring, surrounding the balcony, offers seating options on all four sides, while the second gallery ring houses the stage manager's control room, as well as control rooms for lighting and sound. The third gallery ring serves as the catwalk level.


Various areas are available for rent by the community. Work with the theatre department to learn about rates and availability for rentals