The Dome (tour)

The Dome

virtual tour

Reimagining the concept of black box theater.

Cross section of Yale Schwarzman Center with The Dome highlighted in orange
Cross section of Yale Schwarzman Center with The Dome highlighted in orange

Once known as the Dome Room, the venue now branded as The Dome reimagines the concept of black box theater in a way that makes the architecture an integral part of the artistic experience. The circular, white-walled space is outfitted with theatrical lighting, a sprung floor, and the technological infrastructure for projection design, videography, and much more. The domical ceiling culminates in an electrochromic oculus—making low-light events possible at the touch of a button on the sunniest of days. 

Arguably the most elusive space at Yale, The Dome has been the stuff of legend. Inarguably, the room was one of the University’s most underutilized spaces for many years. One alumnus recalled The Dome with a false ceiling—likely a DIY acoustical treatment—when students experimenting with electronic music used the room in the late 1960s. In the late aughts, the space served as a makeshift office, though it’s still unclear what kind of office it may have been. In the early 2010s, the room was again repurposed, this time as the home of Yale Banner Publications. At the peak of this incarnation, a team of more than 40 students produced the Yale Banner yearbook in the Dome Room. Eventually staffers forewent their found location in favor of their residential suites, relegating the Dome Room to infrequent visits as an archival space and meeting room. The Dome has, in effect, been hiding in plain sight until its renovation as part of Yale Schwarzman Center.

Now out of hiding, The Dome is a destination for boundary-pushing performances, presentations, and dance parties. The room’s flexibility drives the kinds of creative ventures for which the Yale community is known. The architecture beckons for intimate performance, projection design, and information exchange. Arts and presentations in The Dome are limited only by imagination, and if history is any indication, the possibilities are endless.

Sights & Sounds

Click here for a 360-degree photo of The Dome.

Jennifer Harrison Newman DRA ’11, Associate Artistic Director, Yale Schwarzman Center
Robert ‘Bob’ Bonds ’71, Associate Director, Yale Clubs, Yale Alumni Association
Mark Dunn ’07, Director of Outreach and Recruitment, Yale Office of Undergraduate Admissions

No sound, no problem. Read the transcript.

Thanks for joining us on our tour

Stick around and experience the Schwarzman Center by checking out our upcoming events on the Events page, or catch something you might have missed on our Replay page. We hope to see you around the Center soon!

Return to the Virtual Tour start.
Featured image: Rotunda Exterior. 120 years after their construction, the Bicentennial Buildings remain architectural icons. Yale Schwarzman Center comprises Memorial Hall and Commons. Photo by Francis Dzikowski.