The McLeod Theater is a 488-seat, fully equipped proscenium theater with grand drape located on the campus of Southern Illinois University. The stage is 60’ wide and 40’ deep. Side stages with sliding doors embrace the right and left sides of the proscenium and can be open to expand the panorama for an additional 20’ on each side. An arc shaped apron 15‘deep and 40’ at its widest point is equipped with an automatic hydraulic system and can be lowered to create an orchestra pit or a variable height playing level. A counterweight balance and rigging system allows scenery to fly into the 50’ fly gallery. The theater was renovated in 2000 with new professional rigging and a computerized lighting system. A new audio system with back of the house sound booth was added in 2004. The inventory of lighting instruments, including intelligent lights was updated in 2009.
A new fire curtain was also installed in 2009, allowing the apron and front of the house to be separated from the stage area, expanding the use of the facility for workshops and classes. Seating is tiered. The lower level is Continental style. The upper level is tri-sectioned. The Theater is used for larger productions during the academic calendar and is the home for McLeod Summer Playhouse, the professional summer theater company which operates here. The space is also used for departmental meetings, special performances, speakers, and events.
The theater is named after Archibald McLeod, former Theater chairman and the Department of Theater founder.