Hartmann Center

The Department of Theatre Arts is exclusively housed in the Hartmann Center for the Performing Arts.  Named for Jack and Mary Hartmann, two tremendous supporters of Bradley University, the Hartmann Center houses the Meyer Jacobs Theatre (a 300 seat thrust configuration performance space) and the Laboratory Theatre (a 75 seat black box studio/classroom.)

Constructed in 1908 as Hewitt Hall, the University’s gymnasium, the facility was a lasting gift from Lydia Moss Bradley. One of the three original campus structures, the facility was originally constructed at a cost of $75,000. When it opened, it was the nation’s third largest gym. Designed for the use of 600 students, Hewitt Hall housed a swimming pool (now part of our orchestra pit), a men’s gym with a 1200 seat basketball court and running track, a woman’s gym, and a third floor social hall.

Seventy years later, in 1978, after a rich history of intercollegiate sporting events and conference tournaments, not to mention two world wars where the facility served as a barracks and training center, Hewitt Hall was converted into the Hartmann Center for the Performing Arts. Over the years this facility has served as the stage for hundreds of theatre productions from musical and classics to our most demanding intermedial productions like The Adding Machine, awarded the 2008 Internet2 IDEA award and highlighted in Live Design Magazine. At the same time, the Hartmann Center has been the artistic and educational home for thousands of Bradley students exploring the art of theatre as young artists and audience members. Finally, this wonderful performing arts center has hosted tens of thousands of visitors on the Bradley campus, providing a cultural window to the central Illinois region. 

1423 St. James
Peoria, Illinois


  • Blythe O'Sullivan Studio Theatre
  • Design Studio
  • Hartmann Center Gallery
  • Scene Studio
  • Meyer Jacobs Theatre