Wagner N̦el Performing Arts Center - Bringing Communities and the Arts Together
Located between the Texas cities of Midland and Odessa, the Wagner N̦el Performing Arts Center serves as a focal point of community pride and a venue for everything from Broadway musicals to stand-up comedy and music concerts.
Wagner N̦el Performing Arts Center History
Officials at the University of Texas had a goal to construct a state-of-the-art center with acoustic and theater planning excellence. They also wanted this envisioned arts center to bring the community together, creating opportunities for cultural and educational gains. Their dreams became a reality with the unveiling of Wagner N̦el Performing Arts Center, which began construction in 2009 and finished in 2011.
The arts center, part of the University of Texas of Permian Basin, has received numerous awards of excellence. Some of these awards include No. 1 University Venue for venues with less than 5,000 seat capacity, the 2013 USITT Architectural Merit Award, and No. 67 of the 2013 Top 100 Theatre Venues Worldwide.
Wagner N̦el Performing Arts Center Events
As a general performing arts venue, the Wagner N̦el Center plays host to a variety of events. Music concerts are a popular offering at the center, as are plays and musicals, comedy clubs and world music/dance. Wagner N̦el Performing Arts Center also presents world-famous ballets and symphonic orchestras, and it offers many family-friendly events. As part of the University of Texas, the arts center is a proud supporter of its student population - student recitals and University holiday celebrations make their mark throughout the year.
Since 2011, Wagner N̦el Performing Arts Center has seen a variety of performers on its stage. Rick Springfield, The Piano Guys, 2Cellos and Sawyer Brown are just some of the musical acts to perform here, along with comedians Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Cosby. Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale concerts, The Nutcracker, Flashdance the Musical and Jack Hanna have brought in large crowds as well.
Wagner N̦el Performing Arts Center Seating Layout
The Wagner N̦el Center has two venues, the Wagner N̦el Theater and the Rea Greathouse Recital Hall. While the Theater holds 1,800 guests and focuses more on large events, the Recital Hall, with its seating for 200 guests, is more for intimate events and community bookings, such as weddings, corporate meetings and so on. The Wagner N̦el Theater has sectioned seating at a variety of price points. Sections include gallery, mezzanine, dress circle, parterre, orchestra and pit seating.
Midland, the county seat of Midland County, was founded in 1881 as Midway Station. It has long been a city with dedicated oil and gas ties, yet its residents have a strong affinity to arts and culture as well. In fact, the Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale (referred to locally as MOSC) has been part of the community for over 45 years, and the Midland Community Theater has entertained residents since the mid 1940s. Visitors wanting to enjoy other events should check the listings for Rock the Desert Festival Field and Midland County Pavilion at Horseshoe Arena.
Midland is the hometown of former First Lady Laura Bush and the childhood home of former President George W. Bush.