USC Formally Unveils New School of Dramatic Arts Drama Center

The University of Southern California School of Dramatic Arts (SDA) has officially opened its long-awaited new drama center.

The grand opening celebration and ribbon-cutting event for the USC School of Dramatic Arts (SDA) Drama Center took place today at the building, located at the intersection of Jefferson Boulevard and Hoover Street.

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Speakers at the event included faculty and USC alum LeVar Burton and Storm Reid, a current School of Dramatic Arts student and actor in Euphoria and The Last of Us.

The renovated historical building preserves the feel and element of the original Italian Romanesque Revival-style architecture, while incorporating green building strategies that make it a sustainable home for 21st-century artists. The renovation is seeking LEED certification for the nearly 40,000-square-foot building at the heart of the USC University Park Campus.

Faculty and students were allowed onsite last month in a soft launch to move into their offices and begin in-person classes in the new facility.

“We’ve been waiting for this for decades, as a school, so it’s a really big milestone moment,” said Sara Fousekis, the SDA Associate Dean for Advancement, in an announcement by USC Annenberg Media.

The new building will act as a home to all SDA students.

Along with classrooms and offices, the new building is home to various resources for SDA students, such as the Professional Development Center, which will provide students with resumé overviews and a self-taping room that students can book for auditions. The Sparks Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, which is named after distinguished SDA professor and associate dean of equity, diversity and inclusion Anita Dashiell-Sparks and her husband, SDA alum and current Board of Councilors member Anthony Sparks, will act as a community space and hub for collaboration.

The two new theater performance spaces — the Stop Gap and Sanctuary — will be a space for student-led productions.

The Stop Gap houses a small theater where students can have late night shows and improv performances. The Sanctuary is a larger space for stage acts.

An event for the USC community is set to take place April 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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