The Hamilton Stage for the Performing Arts was designed as part of an arts campus to include a 1,000 seat outdoor amphitheater in a bend of the Rahway River, on a reclaimed brownfield site. Principals and staff of Mills + Schnoering Architects renovated and expanded the circa 1920 industrial building for use as a performance venue for local, regional, and national companies.
The program for the theater building includes a 200-seat multi-use theatre, dressing rooms and green room, administrative offices, box office, a multi-purpose classroom, and a dance studio, as well as program support space and concessions. The stage and the dance studio feature sprung wood floors, and the studio can accommodate small productions of dance, theater, or music. State-of-the-art stage lighting controls and audio-visual systems support a wide range of stage and studio productions. An existing one-story office wing was replaced with a 1½ story addition clad in translucent material that houses the dance studio and performance/patron support spaces. The exterior wall of the new addition is designed to glow at night, adding further excitement and drama to the theater experience.