The Smith Family Center for the Performing Arts is set to be a one-of-a-kind facility for our theatre and dance students and faculty. Part of the renovated Bryce Campus, the Performing Arts Academic Center intertwines historical beauty with modern technology, tradition with exceptional, high-quality resources imperative for student success.
The facility will include four performance theatres — a black box theatre with flexible seating for 175-275, a 350-seat proscenium style theatre, a 450-seat venue specifically designed for dance, and a dance studio theatre with flexible space for rehearsals, recitals, and smaller performances. These performance spaces will set the stage for an intimate artist-to-audience connection, elevating the experience for each patron.
I like to think of the new Smith Center as a postcard of the university—it’s absolutely beautiful and a piece of history. But it will also be a place where the arts are recognized. It’s going to be a theatre that actually looks like a theatre, and is just as remembered as the performances inside.
When it opens in 2026, the Smith Family Center for the performing arts will be a grand centerpiece of campus that will elevate the University’s arts profile, drive economic development and celebrate the cultural arts. This project has been made possible by the diligent work of the PAAC Campaign Cabinet and generous gifts by friends of the University.
Fueled by four generations of love for the arts, the Smith family’s gift to name the Smith Family Center for the Performing Arts was made primarily in honor of Mark Smith, an Alabama native who passed away in 2007. Mark, co-founder of the global telecommunications company ADTRAN, grew up in a house full of musicians, and he always emphasized the importance and power of music with his family. Mark’s son, Clay, made the gift alongside his wife, Cameron, and his mother, Linda. Learn more about the Smith Family gift.
With your support, the construction of this facility will produce the performance of a lifetime. Like the Smith family, you too can leave a lasting legacy at the Capstone and name a portion of the performing arts center. Gifts of $1,000, $2,500, and $5,000 will be recognized with the individual donor’s name on a seat in a theatre’s balcony, loge, or dress circle respectively.
We knew, just looking at the Bryce property and the University’s plans for it, that we had to be involved collectively as a family. It’s a venue that will foster artistic expression for students and facilitate the skills they need to launch careers in the performing arts.