The Anderson Center for the Performing Arts is located on the main campus of Binghamton University, in Vestal, NY. Designed by New York architectural firm Hutchins, Evans, and Lefferts, the world-class arts facility opened to the public in 1985.
The Anderson Center's multiple theaters are designed to meet the needs of every performing group -- soloists, chamber ensembles, symphonies, dance, or large theatrical productions complemented by a full-scale orchestra.
The University's Fine Arts complex, which houses the Anderson Center for the Arts, provides additional spaces for the academic departments in the form of two studio theaters and the Jean Casadesus Recital Hall (used by the Theater and Music Departments, respectively). This combination of small studios and large theaters creates a versatile setting that is both intimate and spectacular, integrating music, dance, drama, and the visual arts, while serving the academic needs of the University as well as the region.
Light from numerous glass panels permeates the Anderson Center's main foyer, where rust and terra cotta colors blend with neutral tones to recapture the warm red of the exterior brick walls. The glass panels form a structure unique to the Anderson Center: a retractable wall at the back of the large Osterhout Concert Theater. To afford a special summer evening experience for hundreds of people, this sliding glass wall opens onto a sloping knoll, a man-made amphitheater extension to the Osterhout Concert Theater, provided with its own sound equipment to enhance open-air listening. When the glass wall is retracted, the interior acoustic wall separating the Osterhout Concert Theater from the lobby area can be moved manually to give the outdoor audience a view of the stage.
The curvilinear structure of the box office, elevator, and lobby stairways are mirrored throughout the design of the house. Great swirls of suspended acoustical clouds sweep across the ceiling, complemented by the grand curve of continental seating below. With a capacity of 1200 (including space for 24 wheelchair patrons), the Theater presents a sophisticated ambiance. The curved walls in increasingly darker shades of gray draw the eye of the audience to the stage and the vivid terra cotta velour of the act curtain.
The Anderson Center for the Arts is a facility as well as a program.
The facility includes three theaters (Osterhout Concert Theater, Chamber Hall, and Watters Theater) and is available for University and community use as a presenting house for disparate purposes — the primary one being theatrical/musical performance. The Anderson Center staff schedules and operates the physical facilities and collaborates with the University administrative offices and academic departments (as well as a myriad of varied community rental programs) to present performances, conferences, and meetings for the University and the Southern Tier of New York State. The role of the Center ranges from assisting users by providing services such as house, technical, and box office services to full promotion and presentation.
As a program, the Anderson Center consists of all presentations by its varied users, including the Center's own administration, which books outside music/theatre/dance performances as part of a major world-class performance series for the region. Underscoring Binghamton University's commitment to diversity in a globalized world, Anderson Center programming pulls from an international roster of talent spanning cultures and continents.