SHU expands, renovates performing arts facility

Sacred Heart University is renovating the Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts, with the upgrades to the on-campus, 776-seat facility to be completed later this year.

The Edgerton Center expansion follows interior improvements made to the venue’s acoustics and HVAC system about five years ago.

An art and design gallery will be added for student and faculty artwork that will double as a reception area and a venue where people can gather before and after performances. The gallery will be walled with panels of glass and windows.

An outdoor facility that can host events and campus activities will be built as well. A large media screen and benches will allow for outdoor movies and other programs.

Will serve the region

“The renovations will enhance the performing and fine arts at Sacred Heart University a great deal and is something that we have hoped to do for some time,” said Michael Kinney, SHU senior vice president for finance and administration.

“Not only will it make the Edgerton Center a destination for the Sacred Heart community, but it will serve as a valuable venue for the greater Fairfield and Bridgeport community,” Kinney said.

Expanding performing arts program

The renovations are part of a plan to expand the performing arts program at the Fairfield-based university. Sacred Heart offers an undergraduate major in art and design, minor programs in both performing arts and music, and a master’s degree in communication.

Some students from Sacred Heart’s theater arts program have gone on to national fame, such as Bridgeport native John Ratzenberger, who later played mailman Cliff Clavin on the TV show “Cheers,” and Bridgeport native Kevin Nealon, who first hit it big as a cast member on TV’s “Saturday Night Live.”

Luminaries continue to grace the Edgerton Center’s stage, with recent appearances by author Nicholas Sparks and actress Florence Henderson. In addition, Sacred Heart’ students take part in theater and musical performances on the Edgerton stage.