The Morrison Center at Boise State University is made up of state-of-the-art theaters, rehearsal spaces, and classrooms. Through our programs and education opportunities, we serve the Boise State University campus, the Treasure Valley community, and Idaho. Venues range in size from a 200-seat-recital hall to a 2,000-seat landmark Main Hall. The Morrison Center main hall can present the grandest Broadway musical productions and support student theater in the intimate Danny Petersen black-box theatre.
Our history began on April 7, 1984, as the Morrison Center for Performing Arts at Boise State University with a performance of My Fair Lady directed by Fred Norman and starring Boise State Students and community members. The $17 million building was built with a private-public partnership between the State Board of Education, Boise State University, and the Harry Morrison Foundation. It was an opportunity to join together to create a flagship performing arts facility, academic spaces for music and theater departments, and a place for community arts groups to perform. Founding major donor gifts include the Harry Morrison Foundation, Albertson’s, the Idaho Department of Education, Fundsy, and J.R. and Esther Simplot. At the 10-year-anniversary, the Morrison Center was renamed the Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts.
Each year, The Morrison Center offers a diverse season of music, theater, dance, comedy, conversations, and family programming. During the past 40 years, the Morrison Center has welcomed to the stage Itzhak Perlman, B.B. King, Alvin Ailey Dance, Robert Redford, Tony Bennett, and Harry Belafonte, among many others. In 1990, touring Broadway began at the Morrison Center, and has been the premiere presenter of Broadway in Idaho ever since. The Morrison Center has hosted signature touring Broadway shows, including Wicked, The Lion King, Hamilton, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, and Cats. In addition, the Boise Philharmonic, Ballet Idaho, and Opera Idaho perform their seasons at the Morrison Center.
The Morrison Center continues to grow through the remarkable support of our donors and sponsors. As an auxiliary unit of the University, we do not receive any appropriated funds for our operations. Our donors help us keep the Morrison Center beautiful and state-of-the-art, supporting vital education and community engagement programs throughout Idaho, including The Patty Duke Awards.
As the Morrison Center prepares for the next 50 years, we aspire to expand and upgrade our facility, build partnerships throughout the state, and bring the arts to every Idahoan.