Curtis Owyang, a designer and architect talked to last week, about the design of the “Three Stages Performing Arts Center” at the Folsom Lake College.

Long envisioned as a critically important element for Folsom Lake College, the visual and performing arts center was initially conceived as a facility to instruct, develop, and guide talented students to become actors, musicians, dancers, visual artists, and behind-the-curtain technicians.

The scope and size of Three Stages at Folsom Lake College expanded significantly with a 2003 objective feasibility study by an outside consultant which validated the need for a facility that could also serve as a regional arts center for the greater community.

In 2004 the project proposal approved by the Los Rios Board of Trustees was submitted to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office for final funding approval in the 2005-06 budget year. Construction of the $50-million project began in July 2008 and is being supported by a State Educational Facilities General Obligation Bond, Local Measure A Bond, other District resources, and donations to the Folsom Lake College Foundation.

curtis owyang

Curtis Owyang said “Our history here goes way back. We have been fortunate to design this entire campus, from scratch. … This center is clearly the crown jewel, not just of this campus, but the district. It was designed for openness and front door to the community, as well as being a teaching facility for the students.”

Design Features

  • Flexible space, ample floor space, windows and skylights throughout
  • Massive slate wall, glass and wood paneling throughout

1. Main Lobby

  • Spacious lobby for receptions, public art, etc.
  • Manager’s Office
  • Concessions Area
  • Coat Room
  • Box Office
  • Donor Wall

2. Art Gallery

  • 2500 sq. ft. of high-tech space
  • Outstanding art display and event space

3. & 4. Director’s Studio and Drama Lab

  • Supports instructional areas; available for community events
  • Overflow spaces for large music and theater productions

5. Full Scene Shop, Touring Office and Backstage Support

  • Support scene building and technical needs
  • Dressing Rooms
  • Green Room
  • Office Space

6. Studio Theater (Black Box)

  • 200 seats with multiple stage and audience configurations
  • Small theatrical performances, spoken-word events; etc.

7. Recital Hall

  • 100 seats with flexible stage and audience configurations
  • Small musical ensembles, plays, speaker’s series, business meetings, etc.

8. & 9. Recording Studio

  • Control Booth, Ensemble and Practice Rooms
  • Professional recording equipment for simultaneous recording in all three public theatres

10. Instructional Space – (separate from performance space)

  • Two Lecture Halls – can be used for community events
  • Art Lab
  • Set and Costume Workshops with supporting laundry area
  • Ensemble and practice rooms

11. & 12. Upper Lobby

  • Founder’s Room – (for small conferences, meetings and VIP receptions)
  • Reception Space
  • Faculty and Management Offices
  • Conference Rooms
  • Foundation Office Space
  • Storage
  • Workrooms
  • Building Infrastructure

13. Main Theater – 1st Floor

  • Proscenium Theater: 850 seats (600 at 1st level; 250 at balcony level with box seating)
  • Full orchestra pit with hydraulic lift
  • Full fly tower (94 ft. including 20 ft. height basement/storage beneath full stage
  • Full Screen for film viewing

Main Theatre – 2nd Floor

  • Proscenium Theater – Balcony Seating (250 including some box seating)

Curtis Owyang Designed Three Stages Performing Arts Center

Curtis Owyang Talking to