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Raising the Curtain on Performing Arts: Grand Opening of Kistler Family Auditorium
Greg Kwasnik

After a year-long renovation, Holderness School on October 21 celebrated the grand reopening of the Hagerman Center, a building that now boasts an upgraded auditorium, renovated classrooms, new performing arts workshops, and enhanced faculty planning spaces.

The dedication ceremony included student musical and theatrical performances. Students in the Creative Movement class performed a student-choreographed modern ballet to contemporary music.  Students performed several monologues from longtime performing arts teacher Monique Devine-Robichaud’s Purposeful Lives, a series of monologues reflecting the leadership, courage, and activism of recent history’s important although less-known figures. The evening opened with a captivating performance by the student band and closed with a powerful solo performance of Sarah McLaughlin’s Angel sang by Sarah Angevine ’24.

The extensive renovations were made possible by Wendy and Phil Kistler P ’85, who were on hand for a dedication ceremony that featured performances from student actors, dancers, and musicians. The building’s newly-renovated spaces will be of immense benefit to those students, and the school’s performing arts programs. 

“The creation of the scene shop, the suite of rooms for our performers, dressing and make-up room, new sound and lighting installations, and the many improvements to the acoustics will add to our productions and, most importantly, to our students' experiences in this new Holderness performing arts space,” says Monique Devine-Robichaud, the school’s longtime performing arts teacher.

The school’s main performance space, renamed the Kistler Family Auditorium, underwent comprehensive renovations and upgrades, including new seating and carpeting, a new sound system, and significant improvements to the stage lighting and house lighting systems. Additionally, the original ceiling was replaced with Wenger hanging acoustic clouds to improve both the auditorium’s sound quality and aesthetics. Behind the stage itself, a new addition houses a workshop for the construction and painting of stage scenery and props. Three classrooms adjacent to the auditorium were converted to support the performing arts program, with a Green Room, costume design and storage space, and additional storage for props and set pieces.

The building also houses the school’s English Department and features upgraded classrooms and a collaborative faculty planning space.

“This newly-renovated space invites us to gather as a community and properly showcase the incredible gifts of our students,” says Head of School John McVeigh. “It will undoubtedly be a cornerstone of our campus for years to come.” 

Kistler Auditorium
Kistler Auditorium
Kistler Auditorium
Kistler Auditorium
Kistler Auditorium
Kistler Auditorium
Kistler Auditorium

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