Our Facilities


Wilner Auditorium

In the 1930s, student dining, recreation facilities, and an auditorium for drama, music, and convocations were all high on the list of space needs for the new Municipal University of Wichita. Federal funds provided under the Public Works Administration made possible the construction of the Wilner Auditorium and Commons building in 1938. It was later named Wilner Auditorium to honor George Wilner who joined Fairmount College as head of speech and theatre in 1923. Recreation and food services were also part of the building until 1959 when the Campus Activities Center (now Rhatigan Student Center) opened.

Wilner Auditorium is a 553-seat auditorium now mainly used for theatre and dance applied courses and productions. The Commons space is a central gathering area for the building and sports new furniture due to the generous donations from the Performing Arts Angels and the College of Fine Arts. The basement includes a university classroom, a pit theatre/acting studio, dressing rooms, and a makeup classroom. The second floor includes more classrooms and a design room. The costume shop is located on the second floor, and a substantial amount of costume storage is located on the 3rd floor. The costume stock is annually rented by many Wichita area community theatres and high schools. Eleven faculty offices, including the director of the school and one office for adjunct faculty, are in various locations in the building. An additional small office and conference room are utilized by students, faculty, and staff.

Litwin Theatre

Litwin Studio Theatre & the Heskett Center Dance Studios

In 1983, a new recreation building (the Heskett Center) was opened and local businessman Harry Litwin donated money for a new dance studios and small theatre to be part of the building. The Litwin Studio Theatre is an applied space for dance and musical theatre student productions and is also used by university and community groups for performances. 

In 1984, the dance studios were opened in the Heskett Center and ready for student use. The first student concert was performed in 1985. Now, classes for dance, musical theatre, and theatre students are housed in two Heskett Center dance studios. In 2021, a third studio was added, in collaboration with the Heskett Center. This shared space boasts of a sprung floor, mirrors, barres, and a sound system. This space also hosts Heskett Center classes and health courses. Currently, five faculty offices, including spaces for the program director of dance, two additional faculty, adjunct faculty, and students are located in the Heskett Center. 


C-9 Duerksen Fine Arts Center

The Duerksen Fine Arts Center (DFAC) opened in 1956 and was designed to house the activities of the College of Fine Arts. In 1978 the first BFA in Dance was developed and dance was added College of Fine Arts. With the new degree, classes were housed in the C-9 Dance Studio in the basement of DFAC. The dance program and studios moved to the Heskett Center in 1985. Currently, the building is primarily for the School of Music and includes the 530-seat Miller Concert Hall, classrooms, and practice studios.

The Musical Theatre Program offers several classes in the C-9 studio and the Musical Theatre program director’s office is housed next to the basement studio.


Welsbacher Theatre

In 1999, the Welsbacher Theatre was established in the Hughes Metroplex, and in 2011, the black-box theatre, providing a more flexible space for experimental and student-run productions, was rededicated. As of fall 2022, approximately 50 productions and presentations have been held here.

This studio theatre includes a small space for dressing and storing properties and small set pieces. The productions that take place in The Welsbacher Theatre are meant to enrich culture and arts for the entire campus community.