SUNY Oswego offers seat-naming opportunities in renovated theater


July 14, 2016

Community members are invited to “name a seat” in the newly renovated Waterman Theatre on the SUNY Oswego campus, scheduled to reopen in August.

Names will be engraved on plaques affixed to one of the 410 seats available in the seat-naming campaign, which offers donors the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy and play a leading role in program enhancements at this premier venue for performing arts events, organizers said.

The space, located in Tyler Hall, has been closed since 2014 for the $22 million first phase of an extensive renovation project on the building.

The new theater features state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, new rigging for curtains and backdrops, a new elevator for the orchestra pit, floor traps, lifts, catwalks and an acoustical cloud ceiling. Its seating has been reconfigured to be more audience-friendly and to provide for better accessibility, including an audio induction loop for the hearing impaired.

Donors may name a theater seat with a gift of $500. Gifts received by Aug. 1 ensure donors’ seats will have an engraved plaque in time for the grand opening of the theater later this fall; however, seat naming will continue past Aug. 1 until all seats are named.

“Seat naming is a wonderful gift for an arts lover and a lasting tribute to a family member or loved one,” said Dr. Julie Pretzat, dean of SUNY Oswego’s School of Communication, Media and the Arts.

Seat-naming gifts are 100 percent tax-deductible. Donors are not able to select a specific seat, nor does seat naming serve as a reservation for performances. All gifts will support the School of Communication, Media and the Arts Equipment Fund.

Named for Charlotte Waterman, a longtime music department leader and the college’s first dean of women, the theater has long been a focal point of performing arts for the campus community and the community at large. Performances and events scheduled for the renovated theater include upcoming performances of “The Wizard of Oz,” “Black Violin” and the Ailey II dance company, to name just a few.

In addition to the theater, Tyler Hall’s facility enhancements include a new box office, lobby, art gallery, a dramatic instrumental rehearsal room, choral rehearsal room and recording studio. Phase 2 of the project, slated for completion in 2018, includes exterior work and additional spaces for fine and performing arts.

To name a theater seat, connect with the Office of University Development at 315-312-3003, or