The Capistrano Valley Performing Arts Center opened in the fall of 2013 after two years of construction. The $16.4 million, 27,850 square-foot facility features a prominent main stage, a black box theater, practice rooms for band and choir rehearsals, and high tech sound and video systems suitable for both the technical needs of the theater and also for instruction. This state of the art theater seats 450 on three levels and is designed to support music, drama, and dance performances as well as video and lectures.
“Just the black box alone is better than what we had before,” Principal Kevin Astor said. “I feel like we are giving these students what they deserve.” The space will benefit more than the 470 or so performing arts students, a number that could grow if others are enticed by the new digs. The principal is developing plans for new classes in the school’s integrated science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs. He envisions that students could be taught the physics of acoustics and then how to produce a live show. The stage includes a full fly tower with movable line sets for scenery and curtains giving students the opportunity to learn the technical side of theatrical production. “Just knowing how to operate the digital sound board would be a big plus,” said the school district’s Director, Theater Facilities Clark Fisher, adding “If you know how to run this board you can run most of the boards in the smaller theaters out there.”