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'Joan McFather Studio' named in new Reinhardt theater building

By Erika Neldner

Joan McFather, a longtime supporter of the arts, member of the Falany Performing Arts Center Advisory Board and a member of the Board of Trustees at Reinhardt University, has given $75,000 to fund the Joan McFather Studio in the theater building under construction on the university campus in Waleska.

 “Since becoming involved with the Falany Performing Arts Center, I have felt that Reinhardt needed a genuine theater.  Not that the FPAC isn't one of the finest performance halls in the Southeast – it certainly is, but a good theater requires more,” McFather said. “It needs rehearsal halls, set building space, costume and set storage, wings off the stage and the list goes on. 

“Now that we have a growing theater program, we need space dedicated to students majoring in drama. Since I was a drama major years ago at the University of Georgia, assisting with the building of a theater at Reinhardt seems like a natural fit,” McFather continued.

The nearly 1,100-square-foot McFather Studio will be used as a flexible space during performances and for rehearsals when the theater is in use.

“Joan McFather has been such a wonderful friend and supporter of Reinhardt over many years,” said President Kina S. Mallard. “Her leadership and involvement at Reinhardt – from serving on the FPAC advisory board to volunteering for many performances and, most recently, as a member of the University’s Board of Trustees – is such a treasure to all of us who lead this great University.

“With this gift, Joan is demonstrating, once again, her commitment to our vision and values. That is something this president very much appreciates, and it adds encouragement for others in our community who are considering gifts in support of this vital project.”

The $6.5 million theater project includes a 300-seat black box theater, portico, grand lobby, box office, north and south loggias, green room, performance studio, paint shop, scene shop, wardrobe shop, media classroom and faculty offices.

“A part of the School of Performing Arts, the theater will be a place current students will call home, and it will add great value to our recruiting efforts as we continue to build a great theatre arts program here at Reinhardt,” said David Nisbet, assistant professor of theatre and program coordinator.

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Reinhardt Board of Trustees Chairman Billy Hasty, Trustee Joan McFather and President Dr. Kina S. Mallard are pictured.

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