The Student Performance Center (SPC), located on the Lower Level of the Little Building at 80 Boylston Street, is the largest student event and production facility on campus. Featuring two primary venues, the Judee Wales Watson Theater (formerly the SPC Theatre) and the SPC Black Box, as well as two studios, three rehearsal rooms, a production space, and a large social lobby, the Student Performance Center is the premier location for student events.

The Judee Wales Watson Theater, previously known as the Student Performance Center (SPC) Theatre, is named in honor of Judee Wales Watson ’10 and her dedication to advancing Emerson’s Performing Arts programs and opportunities for students.

Judee Wales Watson ’10 Pays It Forward

“This is your new student performance arts space theater that you can bring everything to - your courage to, your passion to, your truth. Stand in your truth. Promise me you will stand in your truth whenever you are in this space,” [...] “We all need a creative home. While you’re here, make [this theater] your creative home and when you come back, visit it, and remember what it was you learned here,” Watson said.

The Judee Wales Watson Theater, affectionately called The Judee, is the larger venue and can support events of almost any size or shape for up to 150 people, while the smaller SPC Black Box can hold up to 75 people. Use either space as you wish, with rows of chairs for your audience for performances, completely open for rehearsals or film shoots, or with tables for a reception or workshop. The neutral black box setting of either venue allows you to dress them up or down, which is perfect not only for theatrical productions but for other events as well. Add fine table linens and light music for a formal event, or break out the decorations and add colored lighting for a festive, casual event. It's up to you!

A complete array of theatrical support systems are available in either venue to enhance your event. Professional-grade theatrical lighting and audio systems, as well as flexible staging systems and a variety of furniture options. Our event and technical staff members will assist you in setting up and operating any equipment you need. If you have a question or challenge, the event staff will help you find the best solution.

Features & Technical Info

  • Capacity: 
    • Judee Wales Watson Theater: 150 standing, 120 seated, variable dependent on setup
    • SPC Black Box 75 standing, 60 seated, variable dependent on setup
  • Furniture: Furniture may be moved or rearranged for reception, lecture seating, production, and meeting setups, along with variable stage setups. Furniture and fixtures must be returned to standard setup after each event.
  • Technical Control: 
    • Audio = Yamaha TF3 digital console 
    • Lighting = ETC Ion Xe 20 (The Judee), ETC Element 2 (SPC Black Box)
    • Other = iMac with QLab and Tascam audio interface
  • Audio/Visual: Full audio system with multiple microphone and line inputs, handheld or lavalier wireless microphones, and live mixing and audio special effects; fixed-position LCD projectors and screens; stage communication/call system; video monitoring of performance area for green room and lobby.
  • Lighting: Full theatrical stage lighting featuring conventional and intelligent fixtures, with customizable arrangements within a full ceiling grid system.
  • The Judee also has an adjacent Green Room with two dressing rooms, each with a full bathroom (including showers), that can be requested.
  • Technical drawings, ground plans, and rep plots (including a usable VectorWorks file for lighting designers) for the The Judee and SPC Black Box can be found at: Student Performance Center Resources Folder (requires Emerson login credentials to access).
    • The PDFs found within the resource catalog may not be accessible for assistive technologies. If you need assistance accessing this file's contents, please contact spc [at] (spc[at]emerson[dot]edu).

In addition to the two main venues, the Student Performance Theatre also features the following spaces:

  • Two Studios, featuring sprung floors, mirrored walls, and high ceilings - ideal for movement and other practice and rehearsal.
  • Three Rehearsal Rooms, featuring upright pianos - ideal for script read-throughs or vocal/piano rehearsal.
  • A Production Space, to be used for basic set assembly and preparation for productions within the main venue spaces.

Interested in using the Student Performance Center? 

  • The Judee and SPC Black Box require two weeks of lead time to review setup needs and assign staff to support your event.
  • View setup types and request the room online through SpaceBook, or in person at the Campus Center.