St. Louis-based architecture and design practice Patterhn Ives has broken ground on a new outdoor performing arts pavilion for Missouri State University. Located in Springfield, the project reimagines the plaza adjacent to Craig Hall and transforms the outdoor area into the Judith Enyeart Reynolds Arts Park. Named the John Goodman Amphitheatre, the design will serve as the new, permanent home for the university's acclaimed Tent Theatre.
As MSU notes, the new pavilion will double as an outdoor classroom for post-pandemic academic needs, and as a venue for campus productions and community events. Historically, the Tent Theatre has performed in a tent on campus dating back to the early 1960s. Now the open-air project will include a permanent stage and tiers for 350 removable seats.
“This new arts park and permanent amphitheatre are much welcome additions to our historic Tent Theatre,” Missouri State President Clif Smart said. “Our campus and larger community will have a vibrant and comfortable space to enjoy not only Tent Theatre and other productions, but also many special events for years to come.”
Improvements will also be made to the landscape and hardscape surrounding the structure. Fundraising for the project continues, including naming opportunities for individual seats in the amphitheatre, the Grand Entrance, stage house and more. To allow adequate time and space for the construction project, Tent Theatre will hold performances for its 59th season in Coger Theatre (inside Craig Hall) during summer 2021.