- CHC Giving
I arrived on campus in 1982. The newly constructed Lower School and Upper School hallways, subsequently re-named Everett Hall, were flanked by a shiny new main office and library. The Middle School was housed in trailers, lovingly referred to as cottages, and The Perry Family Auditorium served as the new centerpiece — the jewel in the crown of our School.
I was hired to teach second grade, coach junior varsity cheerleading and direct a yearly Middle School play, so having a dedicated auditorium on campus immediately grabbed my attention.
The 200-seat space boasted a stage with a linoleum floor and small but functional right- and left-wing areas. The large black curtain opened and closed manually and took some elbow grease to get moving. The space had lighting and movable seating to accommodate its many functions. Multipurpose was the word of the day.
Over the next several decades, “The Perry,” as it came to be known, was periodically enhanced, enlarged and re-envisioned. The stage flooring was upgraded to wood; the black curtain was exchanged for a heavy, regal red velvet curtain on a pulley system to make opening and closing an easier task; lighting was updated and a hanging microphone system was installed over the stage area for sound projection.
During this time, there was not a single day that The Perry was not in use. Not only did the space serve as a theater for our growing performing arts programs, it was a gathering spot for assemblies, student programs, graduations, guest speakers, parent and grandparent gatherings, and faculty and staff meetings. It was the one place on campus we could all come together. It was our family space.
On April 30, 2022, The Perry hosted its final curtain call. The beloved space will be taken down over the summer to make way for the Center for Innovation and Performing Arts. A plaque will be displayed in the new Kramer Family Theater commemorating The Perry Family Auditorium, which served our community so well for so many years.
The Center for Innovation and Performing Arts will indeed look different, but the memory of The Perry will remain for the thousands of students, faculty, staff and families who benefited from its prominence on our campus—indeed, a jewel in the crown of our history.