Norton Center2019-11-15T13:50:38-05:00

Norton Center for the Arts hosts world-class performing arts and serves as a focal point for the College’s academic programs in dramatic arts and music.

Within the 85,000 square foot complex are stunning performance and exhibition spaces as well as exceptional academic facilities for art, music, and drama. The Center’s two theatres have drawn consistent praise from performers and audiences alike.

Site of both the 2012 and 2000 Vice Presidential Debates, the Norton Center is the College’s showplace for such top national— and international—acts as Alison Krauss & Union Station, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Broadway musicals, bluegrass musicians Chris Thile and Edgar Meyer, and the Russian State Symphony Orchestra. Regular series shows are free to students.



Built: 1973, Renovated: 1994, and 2010
Named for: Jane Morton Norton, former Centre trustee and patron of the arts
Address: 300 South College Street, Danville, Kentucky

The most recent renovation included replacing a 500-gallon boiler with two 100-galon water heaters, replacing all windows and doors with thermo pane glass, replacing all exterior 150-watt can lights with 14-watt LED bulbs, installing dual flush toilets throughout the building, installing dual technology motion sensors in halls and bathrooms and more. The updates qualified the building for LEED status for an existing structure.

Newlin Hall, a 1,500-seat concert hall, is known to have one of the finest acoustical designs in the country. Seating: orchestra 250; grand tier 1,180.
Grant Hall is home to classrooms, studios, and faculty offices for the departments of dramatic arts and music. Grant includes recital halls, playing rooms, well-lit hardwood acting studios, and a versatile black box theatre for student productions.
The versatile Weisiger Theatre, a 360-seat theater in the round, accommodates a wide variety of performances.

Ex Astris (1978). The 14-foot, brass-plated sculpture by Louisville artist Tom Lear is located at the main entrance to the Newlin Hall foyer of the Norton Center for the Arts. Installed in 1978, the work was provided by an anonymous gift to Centre for its execution. The name means “from the stars.

The Haven Gillespie Fountain and Plaza (1973, renovated in 1994 and 2010) was a gift made possible by Audrey R. Gillespie in memory of James Haven Gillespie 1888-1975 and his son Haven Lamont Gillespie 1910-1990.


Prefer to take the stage yourself? Opportunities abound for both majors and nonmajors, including:

students practicing a dance routine

Three major student productions—and many smaller shows— each year

the Centre College Choir performing

Centre Singers and other choral groups for men and women

the Centre Symphony Orchestra performing

Instrumental ensembles, including Centre Orchestra, CentreJazz, and the Kentucky Ensemble (a bluegrass, folk, and contemporary alternative country group)