The Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts is dedicated to enhancing the artistic and cultural landscape of Appalachian State University and the surrounding region by providing a venue devoted to the year-round presentation of campus and community events that enrich, educate, inspire, and promote quality of life.

While health and safety measures prohibit us from enjoying this facility in the way that we typically do — by hosting field trips for live performances — we wanted to share with our audiences some parts of the building that are usually out of view with a “behind the scenes”
virtual field trip.

We have assembled an ongoing collection of virtual tours that take you behind the scenes at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. Meet our staff and see places and features of our facility that are generally reserved for staff or artists on performance days. From the box office to the spotlight booth, come on in and get to know this state-of-the-art venue and the people who make everything work smoothly on performance days!

This is not the complete list of short features we will do to highlight behind the scenes at the Schaefer Center. Check back often as more short videos will be added to this collection. Do you have a suggestion for us on part of the Schaefer Center that you’d like to know more about? Contact Christy Chenausky ( with your requests and ideas!


Front of House:

The Front of House is the place that welcomes most visitors to the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, but there may be aspects that are new to some visitors. Maura McKenzie, Box Office Manager, introduces us to many of the happenings in the lobby of the Schaefer Center. Learn about the ticketing process, visit the concession stand, and check out the elevator!

Line Set:

The Schaefer Center is capable of accommodating many pounds of lights, sets, and other items during a performance. Lead Technician Conor McKenzie takes us to the fly loft space 56 feet above the main stage. We see the impressive systems that do the heavy lifting and explain the mechanisms that hold needed equipment safely over the heads of our performers!

Curtains and Orchestra Shell:

Surely you have noticed the beautiful gold curtain that starts and ends every performance at the Schaefer Center. Let Lead Technician Conor McKenzie show off all of the beautiful curtains at the Schaefer Center that help light the stage, hide the backstage, and welcome intermission!

Find out about the special acoustical shell used at the Schaefer Center for orchestral music. See the stage space transformed in time-lapse video preparing the stage for a concert!

Lighting Design:

What would a performance at the Schaefer Center be without great lighting? Lead Technician Conor McKenzie teaches us about the types of lighting instruments used at the Schaefer Center and how the light is manipulated with shape, color and intensity. Visit the spotlight booth and find out how the entire back curtain can change color (and the mood) of any performance! What’s a “gobo” anyway?!