Royall Tyler Theatre undergoes renovation

A year and $215,000 in renovations later, UVM’s Royall Tyler Theatre is ready to start the season.

During last year’s Homecoming and Family Weekend, a fundraising campaign launched to raise funds to renovate the Royall Tyler Theatre.

Gregory Ramos, chair of the UVM Theatre Department, said the Royall Tyler Theatre is a “gem well worth maintaining.”

The kickoff came after a 40-year anniversary celebrating the opening of the theater.

The campaign was launched at a luncheon in Billings Hall by UVM President Tom Sullivan.

Sullivan said his office along with the College of Arts and Sciences would start by contributing $90,000. Alumni were asked to contribute the rest, according to the website.

“With the help of many volunteers and $90,000 in grants from UVM, alumni and community members came together to raise nearly $120,000 in support for renovation,” said Kevin Morgenstein Fuerst, the senior director of Annual Giving from the UVM Foundation.

The $120,000 raised by alumni was a challenge proposed by Sullivan after announcing the initial $90,000 contribution.

New seats could also be purchased in the theater for $500 dollars, as well as larger sections of seats for more additional costs.

“[That] led to restoration of seats here, new seats on either side, fresh paint, new carpets, new sound board,” said Wayne Tetrick, marketing and outreach coordinator of the UVM theatre department.

Altogether, the project cost about $215,000.

Morgenstein Fuerst also said that part of the campaign was the opportunity to name seats within the theatre.

“Over 50 seats were named after alumni, professors, friends and loved ones,” he said.

Renovation began during spring semester last year and was completed this past summer, just in time for performances by the Vermont Shakespeare Company, according to the UVM website.

However, some UVM students are unaware that the theatre had been renovated at all.

“I didn’t know anything [about the renovation],”   first-year Lisa Weigle said.

“But it’s cool that the department was able to pull off something so big without a lot of people knowing.”