John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts is a multi-use performing arts facility. It consists of two performing spaces and a lobby art gallery. It is also home to the Department of Theatre with its costume and scenery shops.

The Center presents or facilitates hundreds of events and university sponsored activities each year. Lyman Center serves the university community as an arts performance and education facility. At Lyman Center, you'll find cultural events of all types: jazz, comedy, concerts, student activities, music, and drama.  In addition to amateur and professional performances, the Center hosts lectures, academic celebrations, classes, and exams.


The most familiar part of the Center is the 1,500 fixed seat mainstage auditorium. This auditorium's capacity makes it similar in size to major area performing arts centers.  The most distinctive feature of the mainstage is its three-quarter thrust stage design. The semicircle seating configuration allows all seats in the theater to be very close to the stage. The front main sections only have 10 rows and the upper section back row is only 20 rows from the stage. The theatrical lighting system of the mainstage is also impressive. A fully computerized system using state-of-the-art technology controls the output of over 500 instruments that are partially hidden in the ceiling behind a tension-wire grid. The stage lighting alone is operated with a power supply of more than 25 times that of typical household electrical service.

The Kendall Drama Lab

The Kendall Drama lab is a 50' square black box performance and classroom space used by the Southern Connecticut State University Department of Theatre. In the Drama Lab, students can participate in classes, build sets, and perform in theatrical productions. The seating for Drama Lab performances is flexible and varies depending on set design. The usual format accommodates about 125 people.

Lobby Art Gallery

The lobby gallery features a permanent display of sculpture and monthly exhibits of visual art. The art gallery has hosted local artists, arts, organizations, and exhibits of visual art. The art gallery has hosted local artists, arts organizations, and exhibits of notable national and international art collections. There is no charge for visiting the lobby art gallery.

Department of Theatre and Crescent Players

Students interested in cultural events and the performing arts are encouraged to take a class with the Department of Theatre or join the student club the Crescent Players.

The Crescent Players co-produce plays with the Department of Theatre. Set construction, stage lighting and sound, house management, and acting are all performed by students. Under the direction of Department faculty, performances are held in the Kendall Drama Lab, on the Mainstage, and occasionally at off-campus festivals.  For more information, call the Department of Theatre at (203) 392-6100.


501 Crescent Street
New Haven, CT 06515


Box Office: (203) 392-6154
Administrative Offices: (203) 392-6161


David Starkey

Theater Operations, Rentals and Scheduling
Interim Director,  John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts
(203) 392-6163

Vincent Ferrie

Box Office and Business Services
Assistant Director, John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts
(203) 392-6167

AJ Bilotta

Production & Event Management
Assistant Director, John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts
(203) 392-6164

Arlene Lucibello

Department Secretary, John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts
Coordinator, GSAC and University Scheduling
(203) 392-6165