New production facility opens for Fine Arts students 

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UConn Today revealed the newly constructed Fine Arts Theatre Production Facility, built alongside renovations to the School of Fine Arts at the University of Connecticut campus at Storrs, in a video released on Aug. 23. 

The video, available on YouTube, shows shop rooms for costume design, lighting and scenery construction. According to floorplans of the facility, it will also include separate rooms for painting, welding and prop storage. 

Nafe Katter, a former director of UConn’s acting program who taught at the school from 1957 to 1997, provided a key donation for the production facility and the Nafe Katter theater, completed in 2004. 

“Though he was retired, Nafe Katter gave $1 million to UConn’s acting program 15 years ago to build a new theater on campus,” said Grace Merritt in a 2019 UConn Foundation article regarding the groundbreaking of the facility. 

The Katter theatre features a three-sided stage opposed to the single-sided stage in Jorgensen. Katter sold multiple properties to provide for his donation. 

“Through a gift of appreciated stock and a bequest totaling $650,000, Nafe is making it possible for the School of Fine Arts to buy equipment and furniture for a new production facility now under construction,” Merrit wrote, citing the lack of space for scenery and prop construction in the Jorgensen theater. 

Students involved in theater, especially those who received scholarships from the late Katter, were excited for the new building’s completion. 

“Without the scholarship I would not be able to pay for college, for sure,” Pearl Mason, a 2019 UConn graduate, said in her interview with Merritt. “I’m very, very fortunate to be in my senior year because we are on one income.’”   

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