Mitchell Performing Arts Center
Charles Cosler worked with several architects over a 12 year period providing feasibility studies to the Academy of the New Church to convert the assembly building (a former double gymnasium) into a theater. With Walt Crimm of Ewing Cole, a design solution was reached that was both financially and operationally feasible. The upper gym (with a transitional stage area) was converted to a lobby and the lower gym became the new auditorium, onto which a new stage house was appended. The theater is used by the middle and high schools, the Bryn Athyn Players, and the Bryn Athyn Symphony.

A new catwalk was added to the existing ceiling truss work to provide safe access to the stage front-lighting position. A grid was added over the top and sides of the fore stage for productions using a thrust configuration.

The lobby area has an entry vestibule, ticketing area and rest rooms for the public. It is a large day-lit space that can be used for community events. The focal point of the lobby is the original stage transition-area between the upper and lower former gymnasiums. This area, with its graffiti from years of past shows is framed by custom drapery sculptures that flank the proscenium.