If you are planning to attend a show at Auer Auditorium, be prepared for great acoustics and good lighting. The audience area is set up in different levels. The wide, sloped floor space has a number of wheel-chair accessible seats in the front, center and back rows. The raised seats towards the center back of the auditorium are reachable by either the elevator or from twin sets of stairs that spread up from the first floor seating area. And the upper balcony, which is best reached by stairs from either the auditorium or the stairwell behind the auditorium, offers the best view overall.
Whichever seat you choose, you will have a great line of sight for the entire stage. The stage is very open, with no curtains or wings to block your view. Spread out in a graceful clam shell shape, the stage dips into the front seating area, and includes an orchestra pit which is usually covered over and used as more stage space. A double tier of balconies encircles the back of the stage. Depending on the event, sometimes the balconies are used for banner displays but they are also used by the choir, which is able to spread out so that each singer is clearly visible.
For the performer, the stage is a comfortable place to be. The gentle curve of the stage into the seats, and the gradual elevation of chairs make you feel like you’re not that far away from the audience. While the stage lights are bright, having the audience right there and not too far down below gives a more relaxed feeling to the performance.
Backstage, there is plenty of room for performers to warm up, change, and get ready for their time to shine in the spotlight. A green room is immediately off the stage left, complete with a flat screen television mounted on the wall, so you can see what is happening on the stage. Separate dressing rooms and restrooms are also available, for special events. Two sets of double doors swing out from the stage on either side, so it’s easy to wheel in a load of music stands or chairs, if a large group will be onstage. Or, if props or scenery are needed, those big, double doors provide plenty of room to haul materials in and out. A ramp leads up to the stage on the right, while stairs climb up on the left.
Auer Auditorium has hosted many different events, from the IPFW Omnibus Lecture series to Honors Convocations to Fort Wayne Philharmonic and IPFW Community Orchestra concerts, and even nationally touring artists. Receptions can be held in the hall on the east side of the building and space is available for caterers who need to stash supplies for events. A new parking garage is also on the east side of the building, reachable by a covered sidewalk. The parking garage is equipped with electronic sign boards that tell potential parkers how many spaces are available on each floor – definitely a handy thing to know when it’s crowded!
If you haven’t had a chance to experience the Auer Performance Hall on the IPFW campus, why not stop by and take a look? It’s a great way to experience the finest facility one of Fort Wayne’s best universities has to offer.