The Mendel Center Mainstage is the jewel among performing arts centers in southwestern Michigan. The theatre is recognized for its outstanding acoustic quality, professional-level artist accommodations, and technical specifications able to handle the largest of productions.
Patrons often comment that the Mendel Center Mainstage is their favorite venue for live theater and entertainment because of its welcoming atmosphere, excellent sound quality, good sight lines from every seat in the house, and overall comfort and ease of accessibility.
Among the many notable performers, productions, and public figures who have been on the Mainstage are the Broadway productions of Beauty and the Beast, Blue Man Group, and Cats; Grammy-winners Peter Frampton, Boyz II Men, Jethro Tull, Kathy Mattea, and the late B.B. King; former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and George Bush Sr.; and comedians including Jay Leno, Lewis Black, Carrot Top, and Penn and Teller.
Many road-tested artists including Jim Belushi, Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits, and band members from Styx have publically and privately commented on the beauty and sound quality of The Mendel Center Mainstage Theatre during their performances.
The Mainstage Theatre seats a maximum of 1,559 when the Stage Side seating section is used. When the orchestra pit floor is lowered or at stage level, maximum seating of 1,505 is available for patrons. The main floor holds 1,139 with Stage Side seating, and 1,085 without. The balcony can seat up to 420 patrons. Handicap accessible seating includes extra wide and slide-in seats, as well as wheelchair seating areas.
The Mainstage Theatre is surrounded by three spacious lobbies. The front lobby is where you will find The Mendel Center Box Office, and includes space for artist merchandise sales, artist meet and greets events, cash bar and concession services, and event-specific displays. Semi-private spaces off the main lobby, overlooking the North and South Lobbies can be used for small receptions and gatherings. The North and South Lower Lobbies can be used for pre- or post-show gatherings.
Free, ample parking is available on the south side of The Mendel Center. The well-lit lot includes handicap parking and security patrols during performances. Patrons may use the covered drive in front of the building to drop-off or pick-up passengers.
Renting the Mainstage
The Mendel Center Mainstage is available to rent for fine arts performances, concerts, pageants, ceremonies, and other stage events.
The Hanson Theatre
The intimate setting of the 250-seat Hanson Theatre has become the go-to venue for performances, ceremonies, and speaking engagements that require a stage, theatre seating, and professional technical support, but don’t require the seating capacity of the Mainstage.
The versatile thrust stage theater design of The Hanson Theatre lends itself well to stage plays, acoustic music performances, stand-up comedy, and lectures. It shares professional-level backstage facilities with the Mainstage and is run by the same team of technical experts who handle lighting, sound, and set-up for the Mainstage.
The Hanson Theatre is the home of Lake Michigan College’s theater program and hosts performances by the College’s music ensembles and solo performers. The Mendel Center also hosts The Hanson Theatre Living Room Series on this stage.
Renting the Hanson Theatre
The Hanson Theatre is available to rent for fine arts performances, concerts, pageants, ceremonies, and other stage events.
Professional Theatre Services
In-house technical expertise
Our on-site technical staff brings extensive experience in lighting, sound, load-in, set-up, tear-down, and load-out. Their passion for live performance is evident in their professionalism, commitment to safety, and understanding of how what happens backstage is critical to a successful performance. Our team will work closely with you to implement your stage and set-up plan to maximize your performance in our venue. They can also help you design lighting, sound, and stage set-up plans if you have questions about what will work best.
Back stage amenities
The Mendel Center’s backstage area has secure choral and star dressing room areas with showers, a well-appointed Green Room with kitchenette, wi-fi, television, and lounge area, laundry facilities, and ample room for hair, make-up, and wardrobe. Our facility meets the requirements of most artists’ riders.
Front of house
The Mendel Center clients have access to full box office services. Online ticket sales are made available through the Buy Tickets section of our web site. When you choose to use our ticketing system, your event will also be on sale through our Box Office, which is staffed weekdays from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and one hour before curtain. Other front of house services include ushers, assistance running artist merchandise sales, pre-show cash bar and concessions in the front lobby, and coordination of meet and greet events. We can also help with marketing your event.
Ticketing and box office services are also available for off-site events in southwest Michigan. Use the Maintage "Request a Quote" button for more information.