Lee H. Salisbury Theatre

Lee H. Salisbury Theatre

Lee H. Salisbury Fine Arts Theatre

The Lee H. Salisbury Theatre, inside the Fine Arts Complex, was built in 1969 and originally dedicated in 1970 as the Fine Arts Theatre. The theatre seats 430 in steep-sloped seating, has a hydraulic orchestra pit, state-of-the-art sound system and computerized lighting. When it was built, it was hailed as the best-equipped collegiate theatre on the West Coast.

Lee Salisbury came to Alaska at the suggestion of his sister-in-law, Druska Schaible, and began teaching at UA in 1955. Before coming to Alaska, he did radio and stage work for seven years in New York and worked in summer stock and repertory theater in New England. For many years, Salisbury was the sole faculty member of the university’s speech and drama program. He is also credited with playing a pivotal role in securing support for building the theatre on campus.

When he started teaching in the late 1950s, dramatic performances were staged in the gym, which is now Signers’ Hall. The sets and lights had to be taken down every Friday night so ROTC students could fall into line every Saturday morning, and productions had to be staged around the basketball games and practices. The situation improved with the opening of Schaible Auditorium in 1957, but due to tight funding, Schaible was built without a real stage. In place of a center stage, the auditorium had a large blackboard, which required the theatre department to create U-shaped sets that wrapped around the blackboard. Ben Zeller, now a professional designer in Hollywood, once built a revolving set for a production at Schaible Auditorium.

Salisbury directed nearly 100 plays in more than 30 years at UAF, the longest continuous tradition of theater production in Alaska. He also served as commissioner of the Alaska Educational Broadcast Commission, the predecessor of the Alaska Public Radio Network, from 1968 -1979. His work led to the establishment of KUAC-FM. In addition, he created a pilot program designed to ease the transition of Alaska Native students from rural communities to Fairbanks.

When Salisbury retired from teaching at UA in 1988, he became a Professor of Speech Emeritus, and in 1992, students petitioned the board of regents to rename the theatre in his honor. Although the regents approved the name change, it is university policy that no facility be named for a living person until they have been retired for five years. On June 4, 1993, the theatre was rededicated. Salisbury currently travels, teaches and does radio and television narratives and voice-overs. He also takes an occasional stage role.

Sources: “The Cornerstone on College Hill,” by Terrence Cole, University Relations files

Scene Shop

UAF Scene Shop – click image for a panoramic view

UAF Scene Shop

The UAF Scene Shop is conveniently located just off Stage Right of the Salisbury Theatre. A well-equipped shop seperated by 20+ foot tall sound-proof doors, we can make it look like Rome was built in a day!


Costume Shop

Costume Shop – click on image for an interactive panoramic view!

Costume Shop

Theatre UAF’s Costume Shop is located on the bottom level of the Fine Arts Complex in room #107. Shop hours are from 1-5pm Monday thru Friday. The costume shop is staffed by a part-time supervisor and 1-3 student assistant(s). The costume designer is also regularly on-hand.

Theatre UAF’s shop is unusually large and spacious compared to most theatrical costume shops around the world. Facilities include an accessory and shoe storage room, a room for hat, wig and makeup storage and upstairs storage for stock costumes. Attached to the costume shop are the men’s and women’s dressing rooms and bathrooms, equipped with showers. The shop and storage facilities has been praised by one costume designer as “the most organized costume shop on the planet!”

Besides construcing costumes for main stage shows, the shop is also used for costume design classes, students working for practicum credits and the Student Drama Association. The costume shop loans out costumes and equipment to students and community non-profit organizations.

The “E-Shop”
(Electrics Shop)

Hanging Lights

Hanging Lights

Hanging Lights

Hanging Lights

Theatre UAF Light Booth

Light Booth

The “E” Shop is where gels, lamps, cable and extra units are stored.

Instrument Color Inventory
Strand 6×9 Red 40
Strand 6×12 Yellow 40
Strand 6×16 Green 41
Strand 4.5×6 Blue 10
Source 4 Jr.– 26˚ Purple 53
Source 4 – 26˚ Purple 11
Source 4 – 19˚ White 20
Source 4 – 14˚ Orange 8
Source 4 – 10˚ NC 5
Source 4 – Lenses 36˚ 1
Source 4 – Lenses 26˚ 1
Source 4 – Lenses 14˚ 1
Parnell Pink 31
Parcan NC 10
Source 4 Fresnel Blue 30
6” Kleigl Fresnel NC 7
8” Kleigl Fresnel NC 4
Tuma Fresnel NC 10
Makeup Rooms

Makeup Rooms

Dressing & Makeup Rooms

Each makeup & dressing room (one for each sex) is equipped with a full bathroom, including showers.

Outside of the makeup rooms, lockers are available for students to use for a nominal fee / rental by the Student Drama Association.

Graffiti hallway

Graffiti hallway

THR 101 – the “Green Room”

The Green Room is located at the base of the stairs along side the Salisbury Theatre, off of the “Graffiti Hallway”.

UAF's Fine Arts Complex

UAF’s Fine Arts Complex

Theatre Department Office

The Department office is conveniently located in the Fine Arts Complex at the Regents Great Hall on campus, directly in front of the Lee H. Salisbury Theatre.

Come by or contact us with any questions you may have about classes, tickets, or life!
Department Office: (907) 474-6590
Tickets: (907) 474-7751
Fax: (907) 474-7048