EMPAC's New York City Debut

November 17, 2003

from Campus.News

Tonight, 250 guests will gather for the New York City debut of Rensselaer's Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC). The event will take place in The Duke, a 200-seat, black-box theater on 42nd Street.

President Shirley Ann Jackson, EMPAC Director Johannes Goebel, and London-based design architect Sir Nicholas Grimshaw will offer the New York City arts community, media, and other invited guests a preview of EMPAC's building and program that will enable artists from around the world to experience the nexus of research, technology, and the performing arts.

A plasma screen video loop of renderings, three models of the $141.7 million building, and two multimedia performances will be shown. The performances are being conducted by Rensselaer faculty and international artists. The evening program will give a firsthand look at the most recent EMPAC developments and a taste of what the performing arts center will offer to national and international communities.

"The New York City unveiling of EMPAC is an exciting next step in showcasing this premier facility," said President Shirley Ann Jackson. "Building on Rensselaer's current strengths in the arts and technology, EMPAC will be a leading-edge arts and media center with unsurpassed facilities for creative exploration. EMPAC will provide a platform for artists and technology-based researchers from around the world to gather and collaborate to create unique new forms of the performing arts, while conducting research in an arena ranging from visualization and animation to acoustics. "

The new building will house a 1,200-seat concert hall, and a 400-seat theater with an 80-foot-by-40-foot stage and fly-tower. It will also include a 3,500-square-foot black-box studio with a 40-foot high ceiling optimized for theater, dance and visual presentations, spanning from multiscreen to virtual immersive environments.

EMPAC also will support a 2,500-square-foot black-box studio with a 28-foot ceiling optimized for music and multimedia performances; a 1,400-square-foot rehearsal and dance studio, four studios for artists-in-residence; professional-level recording, editing, and post-production facilities for audio and video; and digital broadcasting facilities for Rensselaer's student radio station WRPI.