Morris Performing Arts Center blends historic charm with modern technology

Almost every Saturday night people from all over Michiana wait anxiously in plush seats for world-class performers to take the stage.

Couples sip happily on their drinks and snack on treats in anticipation for the show.

Surrounded by artwork from floor to ceiling, spectators comment on architecture resembling that of a European palace. Large banisters support intricately engraved boxes made for a more intimate theater experience. Pale blues, pinks and creams accent carvings on the walls surrounding the stage. Hushed music fills the air as the chatter of visitors creates a low buzz, which grows louder and louder as anticipation grows.

REO Speedwagon Concert 2-29-08 - Packed Theater (Richard Feingold)And then, the curtain rises.

The lights fade out and stage lights come on.

Finally, the show begins.

The person in the spotlight at the Morris Performing Arts Center is not likely to be a violinist or ballerina to match the atmosphere, though. In fact, it is much more likely for a country artist or popular comedian to take the stage.

“Being called a performing arts center like we are, we are often acquainted with being what is called a ‘cultural center,’” said Morris Performing Arts Center Executive Director Dennis Andres. “What we really are is a rental facility. We’re four walls, and you come in and rent the facility.”

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