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Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre

Located within the Michigan League building on the central campus of the University of Michigan, the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre is an intimate, shoe-box theatre seating 600. Decorated with solid oak paneling that creates an atmosphere of elegance and charm, the Mendelssohn Theatre is perfect for smaller performances, lectures or conferences.

Opening on May 4, 1929, the theatre was designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Allen Pond & Pond, Martin & Lloyd. In 1995, new carpeting and seats were installed, and the proscenium curtain was replaced. Its lighting equipment is modern having recently been upgraded with the latest in LED technology.

The Mendelssohn Theatre is one of the few theaters in the United States to have a plaster “cyclorama,” a curved wall at the back of the stage. The cyclorama improves sound in the theater and can be used for creative lighting effects.

Download technical information for the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre (PDF)

Venue Address

911 N. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1265

Mailing Address

University Productions
911 N. University
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1265

Auditorium Seating Capacity

Orchestra: 386
Orchestra wheelchair spaces: 6
Orchestra companion seats: 8
Balcony: 220
Total capacity (including accessible seating): 620

Load-in Access

Fletcher Street between N. University and Washington Streets (Google address for stage door is 234 Fletcher St.).

Loading Dock Door    9’-8” x 5’ (Loading dock door is at street level)

Note: the loading door leads into the trap room where all scenery must be lifted to stage level via a center stage elevator. After the set is onstage, the elevator is inoperable because the lift platform is part of the stage floor.

Elevator Trap Information

Trap dimensions – 7’-10” x 9’-2¼”
Loading platform to stage – 15’-3”
Basement floor to stage – 20’

Stage Specifications

Proscenium arch width29’-11”
Proscenium arch height – 16’-10”
Depth of stage – 28’-3” ( plaster line to back wall)
Depth of apron – 4’-8” (front of stage to plaster line)
Dimensions of orchestra pit  – 4’-2” x 21’-5” (50-⅝” below stage level)
Note – Orchestra pit changes in width according to the curvature of the stage apron. Please reference the ground plan for more details.
Stage floor – Masonite, painted black

Rigging

Single purchase manual counterweight system
Number of line sets29
Height of grid from stage floor – 37’-4”
Highest batten can be flown – 35’-5” (Electrics 33’)
Lowest batten can be flown – 5’ (Electrics 3’-10”)
Distance from back wall to last set – 4’-6”
Minimum pipe length – 36’-6”
Arbor capacity: 500lbs/226kg
Weight Information Information: full weight – 19 lbs, 1 ½” tall; 1/2 weight – 12 lbs, 1” tall
House additional weights: 106 full @19 lbs = 2014 lbs; 104 half @12 lbs = 1248 lbs
Note – no weight loading gallery – all loading must be at stage level

Soft Goods

House Curtain – red, manual guillotine with split in the center, no traveler

House Masking Hang  (all draperies are black velour)
One (1) Teaser    40’w x 7’h    (line set #2)
Two (2) pair legs    8’w x 22’h    (line sets #6 and #20)
Two (2) travelers    16’w x 22’h    (line sets #13 and #27)
Three (3) borders    40’w x 7’h    (line sets #12, #19 and #26)
Sidetabs – Two (2) dead hung traveler tracks, SL & SR, running US/DS at 18’ from center w/two (2) pieces each 27’w x 22’h

Additional Drapery
Four (4) legs:    8’w x 17’h
Two (2) borders:    7’h x 40’w
Four (4) travelers:    19’w x 17’h
One (1) scrim, black sharkstooth:    28’w x 16’h
One (1) scrim, black sharkstooth:    30’w x 16’
One (1) scrim, white sharkstooth:    30’w x 16’h
One (1) scrim, black sharkstooth:    39’w x 24’h
One (1) painted drop:    30’w x 16’h    (mimics design of proscenium)

Company Switches

110/208v 3 phase 5 wire – One (1) 200 amp disconnect in SR Flyloft
Note – Access to this power is ONLY via 400 amp locking Cam Locks

120/240v Single phase 4 wire – One (1) 60 amp outlet located Downstage Right
Note – Access to this power requires a NEMA 15-60 Plug

120v Single phase 3 wire – One (1) 50 amp outlet located Downstage Right
Note – Access to this power requires a 60 amp 2PNG Plug

Lighting System

Lighting Control
One (1) ETC Ion w/ 2×20 fader wing (w/ two (2) non touch screen displays)
One (1) ETC Nomad Puck w/ two (2) touch screen displays
One (1) ETC Radio focus remote
ETC Net3 ports located throughout the hall
Note – The ETC Ion is semi-permanently installed in the stage right light booth. The ETC Nomad Puck is available for use throughout the venue.

Dimmers
One hundred ninety (190) ETC 2.4kW dimmers
One (1) ETC 6kW dimmer (for house light control)
Note – Any dimmer can be switched with a non-dimming drawer to provide 120v power. Please consult the house technician for further information.

Front of House
Units at these positions are permanently mounted.

Follow Spot Booth (located at center rear of the balcony)
Two (2) ETC Source Four 10˚ 750w on City Theatrical follow spot yokes

Box Boom #1 SL & SR (each)
Three (3) ETC Source Four 26˚ 575w
Three (3) ETC Source Four 36˚ 575w
Three (3) ETC Source Four LED Lustr 2 26˚
Three (3) ETC Source Four LED Lustr 2 36˚

Box Boom #2 SL & SR (each)
Three (3) ETC Source Four 26˚ 575w
Three (3) ETC Source Four 36˚ 575w
Three (3) ETC Source Four LED Lustr 2 26˚
Three (3) ETC Source Four LED Lustr 2 36˚

Cove #1
Fourteen (14) ETC Source Four LED Lustr 2 19˚

Cove #2
Eight (8) ETC Source Four LED Lustr 2 14˚

Overstage
Units at these positions may be changed at will, but must be restored at strike.

#1 Electric (Lineset 3)
Eight (8) ETC Source Four 36˚ 575w
Eight (8) ETC Source Four PAR WFL 575w
Two (2) Altman LED Work Lights

#2 Electric (Lineset 4)
Four (4) 6’ ColorBlaze 72 RGB LED Strips

#3 Electric (Lineset 14)
Six (6) ETC Source Four 36˚ 575w
Two (2) Altman LED Work Lights
Eight (8) ETC Source Four PAR WFL 575w

#4 Electric (Lineset 15)
Four (4) 6’ ColorBlaze 72 RGB LED Strips

#5 Electric (Lineset 21)
Six (6) ETC Source Four 36˚ 575w
Eight (8) ETC Source Four PAR WFL 575w

#6 Electric (Lineset 28)
Six (6) ETC Source Four 36˚ 575w
Eight (8) ETC Source Four PAR WFL 575w
Two (2) Altman LED Work Lights

#7 Electric (Lineset 29)
Six (6) 6’ ColorBlaze 72 RGBA LED Strips

Additional Lighting Inventory
This does not include house hang units listed above.

Eighty One (81) ETC Source Four 575w Bodies
Fourteen (14) ETC Source Four 14° Lens Tubes
Twenty One (21) ETC Source Four 19° Lens Tubes
Forty Five (45) ETC Source Four 26° Lens Tubes
Twenty Nine (29) ETC Source Four 36° Lens Tubes
Sixteen (16) ETC Source Four 50° Lens Tubes
Four (4) ETC Source Four PAR 575w (VNSP, NSP, MFL, WFL, XFL lenses available)
Six (6) Color Blaze 72 LED Striplight units
Two (2) ETC Source Four 15°-30° Zoom
Two (2) ETC Source Four 25°-50° Zoom

Accessories
Two (2) Zytex heat stop panels 18” x 20’
Six (6) 18” Scenery Bumpers
Nine (9) 6¼” Color Extenders
Ten (10) 6¼” Top Hats (48 additional used in house hang)
Twenty Five (25)  6¼” Half Hats
Twelve (12) 7½“ Barn Doors
Eight (8) ETC Source Four drop-in iris units
Thirty-six (36) side arms 18” – 24”
Five (5) 35 lbs boom bases 1½“ pipe
Five (5) 50 lbs boom base 1½“ pipe

Sound System

One (1) Mackie CR1604-VLZ mixer – 16 channel inputs / 6 output
Three (3) Rane ME15 equalizer
One (1) audio snake 100’ long, 8 x 4 channels
Three (3) QSC 1200 amplifiers
One (1) Marantz cd/cassette PMD 350
One (1) Technics DA-10 dat tape deck
Two (2) Denon CD player DN-c615
One (1) Tascam minidisc player MD 301 MKII

Speakers
Four (4) Acoustek custom rebuilt, two (2) function as main PA
Six (6) EV S40B speakers
Four (4) Klipsch HIP, two (2) used as backstage monitors in house position

Microphones
One (1) Audio-Technica 803A lapel microphone
One (1) Electro-Voice 647CL lavalier
Four (4) Electro-Voice 635A lo-z microphone
Two (2) Shure SC4 wireless system, FM lapel or handheld
Two (2) straight microphone stands
Six (6) boom stands
Six (6) Shure SM58 microphones (two w/switch)

Speaker outlets
Line number – location
12    Proscenium Wall SL
3-4    Proscenium Wall SR
5    Green Room
6-7    Balcony Face
8-9    Projection Booth
10 & 12     Upstage Left
11    Upstage Right
13-14    Trap Room
15-16    Makeup Room
17-18    Orchestra Pit

Communication Systems

Intercom
One (1) dressing room monitor system w/ dressing room page

Headset System
Twelve (12) Beyer DT-108 single muff headsets
Three (3) Clear-Com CC-75 single muff headsets
Two (2) Clear-Com KB-112 squawk boxes
One (1) Clear-Com MR-102
Two (2) Clear-Com PS-452
Eleven (11) Clear-Com RS-501 single belt pack
Two (2) Clear-Com RS-502 double belt pack
Four (4) Telex wireless double belt pack

Video
Two (2) cameras
One (1) color fixed on balcony rail pointing at the stage
One (1) black and white – portable (typically used for conductor camera)

Six (6) monitors
One (1) located in the lobby, color
One (1) located in the green room, color
One (1) located in the light booth, color
Two (2) located at stage manager’s station SR, 9” black and white
One (1) located at stage manager’s station SR, 19” Color
Two (2) portable 23” Color CRT on Cart
One (1) portable 9” black and white, typically on SR sound platform

Information System
Wired – Ethernet 1000 Base-T, located in light booth. Advance arrangements required for access.

Wireless – U-M Wireless on-stage and in the auditorium, lobby and dressing rooms. Please refer to U-M IT for information regarding access.

Dressing Rooms

There are laundry facilities available in the trap room.

Half Flight Below Stage Level:
Green Room – located off stage right with access from backstage right, auditorium, and lobby.

One Flight Below Stage Level:
Two (2) Dressing Rooms (one stage right, one stage left) – Partitioned into 4 areas with doors on each area 3 areas are singles, 1 area is for 4 actors. Each area has a basin w/hot and cold water, mirror w/abundant light. A toilet is also located in each dressing room.

Two Flights Below Stage Level:
Two (2) Dressing Rooms (one stage right, one stage left) – seating and mirrors for 13 performers, a shower, 3 basins, toilet, and water fountain.

Two and a Half Flights Below Stage Level:
Wardrobe/Wig Room – located under the stage, half-flight below the trap room.

Removable Seating

All of Row A
Rows C & D, seats 1-5 & 18-22
Rows S & T, seats 1-5, for sound mix position

Conference/Lobby/Backline Equipment

Tables
Two (2) 24” x 5’ prop tables
One (1) 24” x 6’ prop table
Two (2) 30” x 4’ prop tables
Three (3) 30” x 5’ prop tables
Two (2) 30” x 6’ prop tables
One (1) 30” x 8’ prop tables

Orchestra Pit
One (1) Boston upright piano (rollable, located in green room)
Twenty-Six (26) music stands
Twenty-Six (26) Chairs
Twenty-Six (26) music stand lights
One (1) electrical snake for music stand lights

Ladders
One (1) 20’ A-frame ladder
One (1) 16’ step ladder, aluminum
One (1) 12’ step ladder, fiberglass
One (1) 8’ step ladder, fiberglass
One (1) 6’ step ladder, fiberglass
One (1) 5’ step ladder, wood
One (1) Genie personnel lift (max platform height 20’ – requires current lift certification)

Miscellaneous Equipment
One (1) full-sized refrigerator – located in trap room
One (1) Walnut lectern with adjustable height and clock
One (1) 9’ x 12’ Fastfold screen with front and rear sheets
Some pleated, blue, table skirting is available

House Line Set Schedule

Line Set # – Distance from Plaster – House Hang (Notes)

1 – 0’-6” – Red Main Curtain (operated from SR)
2 – 1’-0” – Teaser
3 – 2’-0” – #1 Electric (Dimmers 54-79)
4 – 3’-0” – #2 Electric (Dimmers 80-85)
5 – 3’-5”
6 – 4’-0” – #1 Legs
7 – 5’-0”
8 – 5’-5”
9 – 6’-0”
10 – 6’-6”
11 – 7’-0”
12 – 7’-5” – #2 Border
13 – 8’-6” – Mid Stage Traveler (Traveler Pull SR)
14 – 9’-5” – #3 Electric (Dimmers 86-103)
15 – 10’-6” – #4 Electric (Dimmers 104-109)
16 – 11’-6”
17 – 12’-0”
18 – 12’-6”
19 – 13’-0” – #3 Border
20 – 13’-6” – #3 Legs
21 – 14’-5” – #5 Electric (Dimmers 110-124)
22 – 15’-5”
23 – 15’-11”
24 – 16’-5”
25 – 17’-0”
26 – 17’-5” – #4 Border
27 – 17’-11” – Upstage Traveler (Traveler Pull SR)
28 – 19’-4” – #6 Electric  (Dimmers 125-136)
29 – 25’-9” – #7 Electric (Curved, SL/SR at +19’-0”)

Download Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre Rental Rate Sheet (PDF)

One (1) Day: $750.00
Two (2) Days: $1,350.00
Three (3) Days: $1,700.00
Four (4) Days: $1,945.00
Five (5) Days: $2,190.00
Six (6) Days: $2,435.00
Seven (7) Days: $2,680.00

Eight (8) Consecutive Day Only: 50% of one-day rate – (If rental goes beyond eight (8) days, rates follow above schedule without exception)
Lobby only (one day, 4 hours or less) – includes House Manager only: $400.00

Events involving paid professional artists must be handled by an official University presenter. Additional costs and fees may apply.

Rental Policy

To initiate a reservation:
Renter must provide a non-refundable $100.00 deposit per day of rental, and return a signed confirmation letter, provided by the Scheduling Office.
60 days prior to the event:
Renters must deposit the entire base rent in the University’s escrow account. [For Non UM Organizations only]
2 weeks prior to the event:
The signed contract must be returned to Scheduling Office.
Failure to meet any of these requirements will result in forfeiture of the date.

Cancellation Policy for Reservations and Contracted Events

Day of the Event: 100% of the rental fee will be charged.
Less than 72 hours notice: for a Load-in day or lecture, a 30% cancellation fee of the day rate will be charged. For a Performance day, a 50% cancellation fee of the day rate will be charged.
Less than 15 days notice: a $200.00 cancellation fee.
Less than 60 days notice: a $150.00 cancellation fee.
Earlier cancellations: A full refund of deposited funds, minus the non-refundable deposit.

Base Rent Includes

Access to the theatre from 9 am to 1 am
One house technician for 1 shift (8 hours)
One house manager for 1 performance per day
HVAC, custodial, open & close of theatre
Use of dressing rooms (with showers)
Sound system (as outlined in the Technical Specifications)
Lighting system (as outlined in the Technical Specifications)
Lectern & microphones
26 Music stands & chairs
Use of upright piano (located in the green room)
Use of box office during rental period

Additional Charges to Base Rent Include

Overtime hours for building:
Before 9 am: $150.00/hour
After 1 am: $200.00/hour
2nd shift house technician: $26.50/hour; charged in 4 hr. blocks
Additional house tech: $26.50/hour; charged in 4 hr. blocks
Additional lobby staff for receptions/ performances as needed: $26.50/hour; charged in 4 hr. blocks
Piano moving and/or tuning: as per arrangements by renter
Changes to Access times less than 24 hours in advance will be subject to double-time rates for affected personnel


If you have rental questions or would like to rent one of our facilities, please contact:
Shannon Rice
Facilities Manager
(734) 647-3327
sberritt@umich.edu

If you have questions regarding the technical specifications of Hill Auditorium, Power Center for the Performing Arts, Rackham Auditorium, or the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, please contact our Senior Operations Manager:
Barry LaRue
(734) 763-4220
blarue@umich.edu

All inquiries may be mailed to:
University Productions
911 N. University
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1265


Our performance facilities follow policies set by the Regents at the University of Michigan. Please refer to the general policies as well as policies specific to the venue you are interested in renting

RULES AND REGULATIONS

  1. Smoking is PROHIBITED in all University buildings and on University grounds. Smoking is allowed on sidewalks adjacent to public roads.
  2. No alcoholic beverages are to be consumed within the building pursuant to University regulations.
  3. No pets of any kind are permitted within the building. Any use of an animal in a production must be approved in advance by the Office of the Vice President for Facilities via the Facilities Manager.
  4. There will be no food or beverages allowed in the theatres/auditoria at any time. University Productions retains the sole right to concession sales in the facilities.
  5. Upon the discretion of the Facilities Manager, security shall be provided, at Lessee’s expense, through the Department of Public Safety (DPSS). The number of such personnel shall be determined based on the nature of the proposed event, the number anticipated to be in attendance, and the past experience of the University with respect to similar events. University Productions reserves the option of alerting DPSS when, in our judgment, a higher level of security might be necessary.
  6. According to Section 3.06 of the Bylaws of the Regents of the University of Michigan, the following activities are prohibited in places of public assembly:
    Raffles
    Donations/Solicitations of Funds/Taking of Pledges
    Selling of Memberships
  7. Items for sale at events are allowed at the discretion of University Productions, and only upon completion of a Sales Permit. This sales permit acknowledges the Lessee’s obligation to pay Sales Tax to the State of Michigan.
  8. No live flame of any kind is allowed in any theatre at any time for any reason without the advance permission of the Fire Marshal. This prohibition includes the representation of smoking by actors, candles, oil lamps, torches, incense, effects requiring explosive charges, and fireworks. The Fire Marshal’s permission may or may not be granted depending upon the safety infrastructure of the theatre being requested, the duration of the effect, and its risk of combusting nearby materials. Live trees, garlands, and wreaths are not permitted in places of public assembly due to their flammability hazard. Flame-proofed materials must be used in the construction of scenery or draperies. Please be advised that the University’s fire-safety regulations are strictly enforced.
  9. Due to the sensitivity of building smoke detectors, the use of foggers and hazers in the Power Center, Hill Auditorium or the Arthur Miller Theatre must be scheduled in advance and receive the prior permission of University Productions. The use of fog/haze is prohibited in the Mendelssohn Theatre and Rackham Auditorium. There will be additional charges associated with the use of this effect. Please be aware that sometimes smoke and haze drifts to smoke detectors outside of the stage area and may set off the building’s fire-alarm system. Even in the case of “false” alarms, the theatre must be evacuated by all audience and backstage personnel until DPSS has authorized re-entry into the building and the re-commencement of the program.
  10. Exit signs may not be turned off, covered, removed or altered in any way. All exits must remain clear of blockage by any scenery, props, seating or other objects while the theatre is occupied. Audio/visual, lighting, and sound equipment must be kept out of aisles and out of the seating areas that are designated for patrons using wheelchairs, in compliance with accessibility codes.
  11. The use of confetti and glitter is prohibited due to the difficulty of cleaning the plush seating and carpeting. Unauthorized use will be subject to extra custodial charges.
  12. In Rackham Auditorium, the piano lift cannot be used as a Stage Extension.
  13. In Rackham and Hill Auditoriums, no activity is allowed that would scuff or damage the stage floors.
  14. No construction or painting is allowed in the theatre other than that which is required to install previously constructed scenery, properties, or lighting equipment into the theatre. When construction or painting is necessary, precautions must be taken to prevent damage to the theatre and its contents. There is to be no affixing of anything to walls and draperies by screws, nails or tape anywhere inside or outside the building without express permission from University Productions. For Hill and Rackham Auditoriums, no nails, screws or related fasteners are to be inserted into the walls, floors, or other parts of the theatre.
  15. Wheelchair-accessible spaces must be held for physically-challenged patrons until one hour before the start of a performance, or until such time as all other permanent seats are sold out. These spaces should be sold on a “first-come, first-served” basis, and these requests should include the space for the companion seat, as requested by the ticket purchaser.
  16. Inevitably, matters will arise which are not covered by these general rules. The Backstage Operations Manager and Lobby Supervisor are the final on-site arbitrators of fire, safety, and accessibility regulations. Should a dispute arise about the interpretation of such codes, University Productions’ personnel’s interpretations of the rules shall be enforced until the appropriate code specialists can be consulted.

TERMS OF AGREEMENT FOR USE OF THE FOLLOWING UNIVERSITY FACILITIES
Hill Auditorium – Mendelssohn Theatre – Power Center – Rackham Auditorium – Arthur Miller Theatre

  1. The University will provide the facility heated, lighted, and clean. If Lessee cannot provide accurate access times for use at least two weeks ahead of time, then the University cannot guarantee that the building will be clean upon arrival. Rental time includes all set-up and strike time. Rental time is charged from the point that personnel, whether it be the University Productions House Technician or a member of the Lessee’s staff, enter the theatre until the time all personnel leave the theatre. If it is necessary for a staff member of University Productions to remain after the Lessee has left in order to return the theatre to its original condition, the Lessee shall be charged for this time as part of its rental.
  2. In order to accommodate many users, the theatre may be occupied by the Lessee only at times that have been previously arranged and agreed upon by both parties. It is at the discretion of the Facilities Manager to accommodate last-minute change-of-access requests.
  3. University Productions will provide the house electrics, including control board, lighting instruments, cables, and pipes which are its permanent equipment. The renting group has use of all lighting, stage, and sound equipment that is part of the theatre’s inventory at the time of their rental. Chargeable items are listed on the rate schedule.
  4. A House Technician assigned by University Productions shall be in attendance whenever the theatre is occupied. This individual will be responsible for securing the theatre, adjacent spaces, and their contents, and for the maintenance of house equipment. An additional technician at extra charge may be required if additional technical work is necessary. University Productions retains the right to determine if extra technicians are required.
  5. Lessee will provide its own scenery, costumes, properties, musical instruments, miscellaneous equipment, and any tools necessary for their installation and removal. Lessee is also responsible for providing its own stage staff and crew.
  6. Lessee will provide its own programs, tickets, ushers, and box office staff. With the exception of the Arthur Miller and Mendelssohn Theatres where we do not provide ticket takers, University Productions will provide ticket takers and a Lobby Supervisor for your event.
  7. Deliveries of scenery, lighting equipment, programs and musical instruments, such as pianos, shall be made within the rental period. The Facilities Manager will require advance notification of any deviation from this policy and will attempt to accommodate deviations if possible. Costs may be assigned depending upon required staffing, use of the stage lift or adverse effects upon other tenants. It is agreed that the facility will be vacated promptly of all personnel and equipment after the final performance unless Lessee rents an additional load-out day or is able to reach an agreement with University Productions.
  8. Lessee will leave the facility clean and deposit all discarded trash in proper receptacles. Extra cleaning required to put the theatre back in condition for the next tenant will be billed to the Lessee. Lessee agrees to pay costs associated with extraordinary custodial cleaning at University Productions’ sole discretion.
  9. Lessee shall be responsible for all damage to, or misappropriation of, the premises or any part thereof, including contents and furnishings of any building, and shall pay and reimburse the University for any such loss or damage.
  10. University Productions will not be responsible for losses incurred by the Lessee due to failure of systems operated by the University (i.e. Heat, Water, Air Conditioning).
  11. (For Non-University Lessees) Lessee shall provide a certificate of insurance evidencing general liability, owned and non-owned auto liability, and workers’ compensation with limits acceptable to the University’s Risk Management office. Lessee shall notify the Risk Management office as soon as practical of any claim or potential claim arising out of this activity.
  12. (For Non-University lessees) Lessee agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the University of Michigan, its Regents, Directors, Officers and employees for any claim that may arise due to the negligence of Lessee.
  13. Willful failure to follow any of the listed conditions and rules may result in the renting group being evicted from the theatre.

If you have questions regarding these policies, please contact:

Shannon Rice
Facilities Manager
(734) 647-3327
sberritt@umich.edu