Originally a 1929 silent movie theatre, the Stevens Center is a magnificently restored neoclassical building located in downtown Winston-Salem, N.C. Reopened in 1983 with a redesigned stage and backstage that was designed to house Broadway-scale live performances of music, theater, dance and opera, the Stevens Center is the primary performance space for UNCSA as well as for the Winston-Salem Symphony, Piedmont Opera, National Black Theatre Festival, and several other local arts organizations.
The historic performing arts venue serves as the largest learning laboratory at UNCSA, an economic driver for downtown Winston-Salem and a cultural destination for both residents and visitors. The Stevens Center is wheelchair accessible and is equipped with a two-channel hearing assistance system.
Out of an abundance of caution, and to preserve an optimal patron experience, UNCSA has closed the balcony for the foreseeable future due to cosmetic deterioration of surfaces resulting from deferred repairs to the roof.
UNCSA has received the first round of state funding that will launch Phase One of a multiphase, comprehensive renovation of the Stevens Center. The nationally recognized firms Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, based in Charlotte, and Steinberg Hart, based in Los Angeles, have been announced as the design team that will lead the project, which is the first significant renovation of the building since it reopened in 1983. Goals include improving the patron and artistic experience for all the venue’s constituents, making critical upgrades to modernize the student learning experience, as well completing necessary roof and building envelope repair.
UNCSA is grateful for the support of state legislative leaders and the governor, as well as our Forsyth County delegation and the leaders of the UNC System who share our vision for the historic landmark. UNCSA will continue to seek a combination of public and private funding for this and future phases of the comprehensive renovation.
Stevens Center Renovation Timeline
The Stevens Center will remain open for rehearsals and performances at least through the 2022-23 season. Advance planning and design will begin immediately and are expected to take 12 to 18 months, after which the entire building is anticipated to go dark for approximately two years during the construction phase. Information about alternate venues for the UNCSA performance season, community programs and partner organizations while the Stevens Center is dark will be announced at a later date.