Chapman University
Musco Center for the Arts

The Client

Located at Chapman University in California, the Musco Center for the Arts is one of the West Coast’s top destinations for vocal music and instrumental performances. Covering 88,000 sq. ft., this state-of-the-art building opened in 2016 to help students refine their skills and prepare for today’s careers in the performing arts. Designed by acclaimed architects Pfeiffer Partners, with acoustics by world‑renowned Yasuhisa Toyota, Musco Center has a grand seating chamber with 1,044 seats on three levels and a full-scale stage house.

The Challenge

As a newly constructed performing arts center, the entire theater rigging system needed to be designed and built to meet the client’s needs. It’s a unique venue with a large orchestra tower and ceiling system. A solution was needed for the towers to be rotated, lifted, and stored in the grid.

Thern's Solution

Thern Stage Equipment provided a fully motorized counterweight rigging system, which included over 60 line sets with compensation chains and a steel guide wall. The controls for the tower and ceiling had electrical interlocks and were sequenced so they would not hit each other during deployment or storage. This project involved customized high-capacity line shaft hoists.

The Results

With this extraordinary, fully-equipped performance facility, Chapman University can accommodate full-scale Broadway-style productions, dance companies, symphonies, and operas, as well as spoken theater, chamber performances, jazz, popular music, and more. In addition to showcasing productions by Chapman’s College of Performing Arts, Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music, Department of Dance, and the Department of Theatre, the venue also hosts events and presentations from across the campus community. The Musco Center serves as a dynamic focal point for campus life and the broader community, highlighting world-class arts education and artistic achievement in Southern California.

Custom Motorized Counterweight Rigging System

Guide Wall

Line Shaft Hoist

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