Hill Auditorium

Renowned for its magnificent acoustics, Hill Auditorium is one of the world’s great concert halls. Since opening in 1913, Hill has welcomed ensembles, orchestras and speakers from around the world. Hill seats 3,500 and is the largest performance space on campus.


Standing tall and proud in the heart of the University of Michigan campus, Hill Auditorium is the venue where the major public events of the university take place. Former U-M regent Arthur Hill bequeathed $200,000 to the university for the construction of an auditorium for lectures, concerts and other university events. The hall was designed by the Detroit firm of Albert Kahn and Associates, who have conceived of many notable structures, including the Rouge River plant in Dearborn, Michigan.

Hill Auditorium underwent a major renovation, closing for 18 months before reopening in January of 2004. Developed by Albert Kahn Associates with Quinn Evans Architects, the renovation provided for air conditioning, elevators, expanded bathroom facilities, a Lower Level Lobby with a concessions area, and many other improvements and patron conveniences.

Hill Auditorium’s most famous association is with the best performing artists the world has to offer. Since its opening in 1913, this impressive structure has served as a showplace for important debuts from a wide variety of artists, and also has provided the locale for long relationships between artists and Ann Arbor audiences. With superb acoustics that highlight everything from the softest high notes to the most thunderous climaxes, Hill Auditorium is known and loved throughout the musical world.

Namesake: Arthur Hill

When he was a regent of the University of Michigan at the start of the 20th century, Arthur Hill knew the campus needed a large auditorium to accommodate its growing student body.

It was only after Hill’s death in 1909, however, that the public learned of his solution: a $200,000 bequest for a new hall. His will made it clear he wanted the building to be used “for the gathering of the students and college body, and their friends, on large occasions such as graduating exercises and musical festivals.” Hill Auditorium was dedicated in 1913.

Arthur Hill was born in 1847 in St. Clair and grew up in Saginaw. He studied civil engineering at Michigan, graduating in 1865. He made a career in lumber, buying land and harvesting timber in the United States and Canada. He also owned ore-rich land in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that provided a steady stream of income. He was a multi-millionaire at the time of his death.

Hill was a gubernatorial appointment to the Board of Regents in 1901 and was elected to an eight-year term in 1905. As a regent, he deeded 80 acres of property west of Ann Arbor for research and teaching in the Department of Forestry (now the School for Environment and Sustainability); it is known as Saginaw Forest.

Hill was married twice; he and his wife Aroline had two children, Harold and Clara.

Technical Specifications

An important note for touring companies — This hall was designed originally for classical music concerts and lectures. It has a unique parabolic ceiling, which contributes to exceptional room acoustics. However, arena-scale productions will likely need significant modifications to their concert-stage design and reductions of equipment to fit this small stage space. Rigging points are very limited because of the curve of the plaster ceiling over the stage; there is no stage house. Shows with extensive lighting, audio, staging and rigging requirements are especially encouraged to either schedule a site visit or to have a phone conversation with venue staff and/or the local promoter’s production manager to get more detailed information to ensure a safe and smooth production. The information contained in these technical specifications has been updated to the best of our ability.

Download technical information for Hill Auditorium (PDF)

Venue Address

825 N. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1276

Mailing Address

University Productions
128 Michigan League
911 N. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1265

Technical Specifications

Auditorium Seating Capacity

Main Floor: 1,299
Main Floor – 27 wheelchair & 21 companion: 48
Mezzanine: 953
Mezzanine – 8 wheelchair & 6 companion: 14
Balcony: 1,214
Total capacity (including accessible seating): 3,528

Lobby Event Capacities

Kennedy Lower Lobby
Reception – standing room only: 200
Lecture – chairs only: 100
Banquet – tables and chairs: 70

Main Floor Lobby
Reception – standing room only: 300
Lecture – chairs only: 100
Banquet – tables and chairs: 100

Mezzanine Lobby
Reception – standing room only: 250
Lecture – chairs only: 100
Banquet – tables and chairs: 100

Load-in Access

Loading doors are located on S. Thayer Street between N. University and Washington Streets.

Loading Dock A (for semi trailers) – Approx. 14′ x 60′
Loading Dock B (for short trucks) – Approx. 14’ x 40’
*Refer to dock drawing under stage plans for specific lengths in regards to sidewalk and road
Loading Dock Elevator (to basement only) – 3’-9” x 7’ (door);  5’-6” x 8’ (cab floor)
Two (2) Elevators located in main lobby – 3’-6” x 7’ (door); 5’-8” x 5’-3” (cab floor)
(protective quilts are mandatory when moving equipment)
Stage Doors – 8’ x 8’

Stage Specifications

Width of stage – 40′ to 70′
Depth of stage (at center line) – 29′
Stage Ceiling – Parabolic curve with decorative plaster lattice work
No Stage House
House floor to stage – 39 1/2″
Stage lift – 9’10” x 7′
Basement ceiling height – 6’ clearance
Stage floor – maple parquet w/light cherry stain


Limited availability, check with house technicians for information. Specified points have been engineered and designated. Only trained rigging personnel are allowed to access these points.

Company Switches

110v/208v 3 phase
One (1) 400 amp. disconnect basement stage left
One (1) 400 amp. disconnect basement stage right
Two (2) 200 amp. disconnect in basement stage right, one with separate ground common to house sound system.
Note – all are sequential cam locks. House will provide adaptors to allow connection of normal cam locks. Pass-through holes allow feeder to reach stage level.


Full concert lighting designed to accommodate needs from soloists, piano and organ recitals, to large orchestra/choral ensembles.

Lighting Control:
One (1) ETC IonXE 20 (in SR control booth)
Note: Operating system face panel
ETC Net/DMX ports distributed throughout the hall

Front of House:
Follow Spot Booth (located at center rear of the balcony)
Two (2) Lycian M2, 2500 Watt, 220V Followspots
Note – Three (3) 30 amp 110/208 single phase circuits are available for renter-provided additional or substitute followspots.

Box Booms
Twelve (12) ETC Source Four 10° 750w, stage left
Twelve (12) ETC Source Four 10° 750w stage right
Note – Fall protection is mandatory and careful restoration to house focus required at strike.

Overstage Attic:
Twenty-Six (26) ETC Source Four PARs MFL 750w

Front of House Attic:
Twenty-three (23) ETC Source Four 10° 750w
Seven (7) ETC Source Four 5° 750w
Note – Attic instruments are hardwired and can not move. Limited focusing range. Renter must restore focus at strike. Fall protection required at some locations.

Sound System

The hall has equipment adequate to provide audio support for most small conferences, lectures, and playback requirements. Please indicate your needs at the time of finalizing your rental agreement and we will do our best to meet them.

An important note for touring companies — No more than eight (8) 1200watt Sub Cabinets may be placed onstage at any time and these subs may NOT be stacked. Additionally any multiple of speakers within a 4′ zone of the stage lip, must be lashed together with a truck grade strap due to the proximity of the audience to the speakers.

One (1) 12/4 channel rack mounted Crest mixer located in control booth stage right

One (1) Marantz CDR631 CD Player/Recorder

Two (2) computer-controlled EAW line arrays (located behind organ pipes at upstage wall)
One (1) Sub Woofer, Rinkus-Heinz  (located behind organ pipes at upstage wall)
Rinkus-Heinz front fill speakers at stage lip
Under-balcony delays are located underneath mezzanine and balcony overhangs

Microphones and portable mixer cannot support live mixing of large scale music events.
Two (2) Shure Beta 57A
Four (4) Shure Beta 58A
One (1) Shure SM 58 w/switch
Two (2) Shure Beta 87A
Two (2) Shure ULXD4D Receivers
Two (2) Shure ULXD1 Laveliers
Two (2) Shure ULXD2 Handhelds
Note – Only two (2) wireless units may be used at one time.
Eight (8) straight microphone stands with boom arms

Access port from mix position on main floor to cable passage in basement.

Communication Systems

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

Headset System
Ten (10) single muff headsets, Clear-Com CC-75
Ten (10) single channel belt pack, Clear-Com RS-501

Headset Stations
Control booth, stage right
Backstage right
Backstage left
Followspot booth (balcony)
Cable passageway, below house mix position
Loading Dock
Front face of stage at center

One (1) for stage-view camera mounted on mezzanine ceiling
One (1) for conductor-view camera mounted behind organ pipes
Stage-view located in the control booth SR

Information System

Wired – Ethernet 1000 Base-T, located in box office, House Tech booth and various locations throughout the building. Advance arrangements required for access.

Wireless – U-M Wireless on-stage and in the auditorium and main lobby please refer to U-M IT for information regarding access and settings.

Dressing Rooms

There are no laundry facilities in the building.

One Flight Below Stage Level:
Open area for large ensemble.
Note – Upon prior arrangement, one hundred twenty-three (123) lockers are available in the basement of the Modern Languages Building accessible through the basement of the Auditorium, after 4pm Monday – Friday and all day on weekends. Contact your event coordinator for more information.

Stage Level:
One (1) Dressing Room for one person with private bath and shower, located on stage right.
Two (2) Dressing Rooms – One (1) for two persons, One (1) for four persons, which may also function as production office, located on stage left.

One Flight Above Stage Level:
One (1) Ensemble Room – seating and mirrors for 9 performers with a basin, located on stage left. May also function as catering room.
One (1) Dressing Room – seating and mirrors for 4 performers located on stage left.
One (1) Warm-up Room with baby grand piano located on stage right. Piano used only by special permission of the University Musical Society. Contact Jeff Beyersdorf at 734.615.4285.

Two Flights Above Stage Level:
One (1) Dressing Room – seating and mirrors for 9 performers located on stage left.

Stage Extensions

Use of the stage and pontoon extensions requires a loss of seating with additional labor charges for set-up and removal. Removable stairs may be used with either of the below stage extensions, however, please note that three more rows in sections 2, 3, and 4 will be unusable.

Stage extension
4’6” additional stage depth
Seating covered:
Section 2: Row A, Seats 201-211; Row B, Seats 201-212
Section 3: Row A, Seats 301-314; Row B, Seats 301-312
Section 4: Row A, Seats 401-411; Row B, Seats 401-412

Pontoon extension
The pontoon extensions can only be used with the stage extension.
Seating covered:
Section 2: Row B, Seats 209-212; Row C, Seats 208-213; Row D, Seats 209-215
Section 4: Row B, Seats 409-412; Row C, Seats 408-413; Row D, Seats 409-415

Removable Seating

Section 2
Row A, Seats 201-211
Row B, Seats 201-212
Row C, Seats 201-213
House mix position:
Row Q, Seats 201-205
Row R, Seats 201-205
Row S, Seats 201-205
Row T, Seats 201-205

Section 3
Row A, Seats 301-314
Row B, Seats 301-314
Row C, Seats 301-315
Row D, Seats 301-315
Row E, Seats 301-315
House mix position:
Row Q, Seats 301-318
Row R, Seats 301-318
Row S, Seats 301-318
Row T, Seats 301-318

Section 4
Row A, Seats 401-411
Row B, Seats 401-412
Row C, Seats 401-413

Conference/Lobby Equipment

Ten (10) 30” x 6’ tables
Ten (10) 30” x 8’ tables
Six (6) Easels
One-Hundred (100) Folding Chairs on rolling carts
Two (2) Coat Racks
Six (6) 22” x 28” Donor Recognition/Misc. Info Signs

Miscellaneous Back Line Equipment

One-hundred twenty-five (125) music stands
One-hundred nine (110) orchestra chairs
Sixteen (16) celli chairs
One (1) conductor’s stand
One (1) United States flag with pole and floor stand
One (1) State of Michigan flag with pole and floor stand
One (1) 20’ x 20’ projection screen (additional rental charge for set-up)

Note: The following equipment is housed in Hill Auditorium and can only be used by special permission of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. Contact Paul Feeny 734.764.8765.

One (1) 7’ Steinway grand piano – Contact Bob Grijalva 734.764.6207
One (1) 9’ Steinway grand piano – Contact Bob Grijalva 734.764.6207
Choral Risers
Various percussion instruments

Note: The following equipment is housed in Hill Auditorium and can only be used by special permission of the University Musical Society. Contact Jeff Beyersdorf at 734.615.4285.

Twenty-four (24) 4’ x 8’ Stageright orchestral platforms
Four (4) 4’ x 4’ Stageright orchestral platforms
Eight (8) 8” Stageright legsets
Seven (7) 16” Stageright legsets
Seven (7) 24” Stageright legsets
Two (2) two-step step units

Rental Rates

One (1) Day: $1,900.00
Rehearsal/Set-up: 50% of one-day rate
Receptions in addition to Performances: $250 per reception, includes House Management oversight

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

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 University Productions Scheduling Office.

60 days prior to the event: Renters must disburse the entire base rent to the University Productions Scheduling Office. [For Non U-M Organizations only]

2 weeks prior to the event : The signed contract must be returned to the University Productions Scheduling Office.

Failure to meet any of these requirements can 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 between 9am and 1am
  • Use of Box Office and Usher room during rental period
  • One House Technician for 1 shift (8 hours)
  • One House Manager and lobby staff for 1 performance per day
  • HVAC, Custodial, Open & Close of theatre
  • $300.00 of Custodial Service towards clean up following event
  • Use of dressing rooms, one with a shower
  • Sound System (as outlined on the Hill website Tech Specs page)
  • Lighting System (as outlined on the Hill website Tech Specs page)
  • 100 music stands & chairs

Additional Charges to Base Rent Include

  • Overtime hours for building (before 9am, after 1am) – $250.00/hour
  • Custodian costs beyond $300 – at cost
  • 2nd shift House Technician: $35/hour – charged in 4 hour blocks
  • Additional House Tech (as needed): $35/hour – charged in 4 hour blocks
  • Additional Lobby staff for reception/perfs as needed for advance set up/clean up: $35/hour – charged in 4 hour blocks
  • Projection screen – $525
  • Piano by arrangement w/ Randy Bibri, SMTD, 734-764-6207
  • Security (if required by Public Safety) as per arrangements with Public Safety
  • Stage Extension and/or pontoons – at cost
  • Choral and orchestra risers by arrangement with Paul Feeny, SMTD, 734-764-8765
  • Changes to Access times less than 24 hours in advance will be subject to double-time rates for affected personnel

Rates as of September 2023


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

    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:
    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.

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.

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
[email protected]

Contact Us

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

If you have rental questions or would like to rent one of our facilities, please contact:
Shannon Rice
Facilities Manager
(734) 647-3327
[email protected]

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 :
Dane Racicot
(734) 764-5553
[email protected]