Paul Mellon Arts Center

Designed by award-winning architect I.M. Pei, The Paul Mellon Arts Center is a dramatic concrete and glass structure. It occupies a rectangular plot of ground and is divided into irregular halves divided by a red-tiled courtyard.

The western theater wing, has a 90 foot long curved glass gallery and lobby facing the courtyard, Flentrop organ and music gallery and the Main Theater which features:

  • 770-seat auditorium with sweeping rows of continental seating (no center aisle) orchestra: seats 340 with 6 handicap spots, balcony seats 430
  • 11’ x 36’ Orchestra Pit on hydraulic lift
  • 24’ deep stage with 48’ proscenium opening 24’ high
  • 22 linesets for flying scenery and lights, 7 are motorized, 15 are counterweighted
  • projection system for visual presentations
  • ETC Ion control console for lighting and Yamaha M7-CL mixer for sound reinforcement and computer for playback. Or Digital control consoles for lighting and sound are also available.
  • acoustical shell for concerts
  • dampening curtain that can be lowered to screen off balcony for more intimate performances
  • The Katz Family Green Room and two large dressing rooms backstage

The smaller Chase-Bear Experimental Theater, dubbed the “Black Box,” with its sprung floor for dance, serves as an underground link between the west and east portions of the building.

The eastern portion, or triangle wing of the Paul Mellon Arts Center provides additional gallery space, and 5 floors of fine arts studios, music classrooms, 15 music practice rooms and a 100-seat two-story Recital Hall.

The buildings art studios were designed with natural light for painting, drawing, mixed media, weaving, computer graphics, architectural design and with two balconies over the gallery providing additional flexible space for the creative process.

Additional Arts Facilities

  • The Rosenthal Digital Video Studio is located in the Humanities Center and functions as a classroom and screening room. It has four video editing rooms.
  • A traditional dark room and photo studio is also located in the Humanities Center.
  • The ceramic, jewelry and sculpture studios with northern natural light are located in the Dodge Shops building.
  • The dance studio is located in the Athletic Center
  • The Seymour St. John Chapel on campus serves as an additional concert venue, and the lower level houses the 150-seat Gelb Theater, an additional venue for theater productions.

Contact Information

For questions on the Paul Mellon Arts Center, please contact:

Randi Brandt

(203) 697-2423

Carol Jones

(203) 697-2035

Box office

(203) 697-2398


The Choate Wallingford, CT campus is centrally located between Hartford and New Haven, CT, with easy access from the Wilbur Cross Parkway (Route 15) and Interstate 91.

The Arts Center is located at 332 Christian Street — between North Elm Street and Old Durham Road. View campus visiting information.