The Stephens Performing Arts Center was built primarily with the generous support of hundreds of private donors, the 123,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art complex debuted in October 2004. It crowns a Pocatello hilltop that offers vistas as inspiring as the artists who perform here.
The Stephens Performing Arts Center, located on Bartz Way on the Idaho State University campus in Pocatello, Idaho, has been funded by an initial gift of $10 million from Mrs. Thelma E. Stephens. The generous support of hundreds of private donors followed to enable the beginning of construction of the 123,000 square foot, state-of-the-art complex on June 10th, 2002. The $34 million dollar facility had its debut in October, 2004.
The first performance in the Stephens Center was “Man of LaMancha,” in October 2004 in the Beverly B. Bistline Theatre. A gala evening featuring a diverse range of musical talent inaugurated the Joseph C. and Cheryl H. Jensen Grand Concert Hall on April 1, 2005. Mrs. Stephens died on Sept. 15, 2006, at age 98.
Today, musicians, actors and other performers from around the world regularly grace the center’s stages.
The center’s most significant performance venues, promenades and other spaces are named for the largest donors to the center. Seats in each performance venue bear the names of hundreds of additional donors.
More names are continually being added through donations managed by the ISU Foundation. Each gift help to assure that the facility is operated and maintained in keeping with the spirit with which it was built.
The L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center, unique in the Intermountain West and Pacific Northwest in many ways, is a living legacy that will enrich the cultural life of southeastern Idaho for decades to come.
The performance venues include:
• Joseph C. and Cheryl H. Jensen Grand Concert Hall, 13,890 sq. ft.; 1,200 seats.
• Beverly B. Bistline Thrust Theatre: 8,212 sq. ft.; about 450 seats.
• James E. and Beverly Rogers Black Box Theatre: 3,400 sq. ft.; upwards of 227 seats, depending on how they are arranged.
• Barbara J. Marshall Rotunda.
The Joseph C. and Cheryl H. Jensen Grand Concert Hall