Paul R. Cramer Center

The backdrop for showcasing success.

The Paul R. Cramer Center for the Arts opened in the fall of 2002, establishing a dramatic focal point for the campus of The Steward School. Named for former Headmaster Paul R. Cramer, the building is one of the finest creative arts facilities in central Virginia and includes what is considered the most attractive school-centered theatre of all the public and private schools in the Richmond area. The Center is home to multiple disciplines, including theatre, visual arts, and music.

Classroom Spaces

Visual Arts

The Cramer Center offers a unique art studio for each division of the school with resources for Lower School activities, drawing and painting, sculpture and ceramics, a kiln room, and an outdoor workspace. Upstairs, the Center offers a Mac/photography computer lab, a traditional darkroom and workroom, and a photography lighting studio.


The Center houses a two-story, 110-seat BlackBox theatre as its intimate performance space, where theatre classes in all divisions meet. Lower and Middle School plays and Upper School acting showcases are highlighted here. Behind the performance spaces, a scene shop and loading dock serve as the classroom for technical theatre classes and are conveniently located for loading in large sets.


There are three large music classrooms: one for instrumental music and two for choral music. One choral room also serves as a dance studio with a sprung floor and floor-to-ceiling mirrors.

Performance Spaces

In addition to the BlackBox, the central performance space in the Center is the Lora M. Robins Theatre, a 500-seat proscenium theatre, featuring upper and lower orchestra seating. The stage is 38-feet deep, featuring a sprung performance floor with stage traps and an orchestra pit lift and 25 single-purchase line-sets overhead. The Robins Theatre is used for school assemblies, theatre productions, and music concerts, as well as guest speakers and community performance groups.

Gallery Spaces

The lobby area of the Cramer Center is home to several galleries. Adjacent to the expansive Baruch Foyer is the Carolyn R. Brandt Art Gallery, where artists from the school, the Richmond area, and around the world exhibit work on a rotating basis throughout the year. Gallery exhibits are open to the public, and artist receptions are held at the opening of each exhibit for members of the community to meet the artists. Please check our calendar to review this year's list of gallery exhibits.

On the opposite side of the foyer, the Center has a small permanent display of donated work. A photo gallery is featured on the lobby’s second floor, complete with a display of more than 40 years of Steward main stage performances. In addition to these locations, there is a second art gallery located in the Upper School building—the Cosby Art Gallery traditionally features work by professional artists, current or former students, parents, alumni, and friends of the school.


Please contact Receptionist Maureen Beck at for information on renting the space.

“We have been renting the Robins Theatre at The Steward School since 2004 and have cherished our ongoing relationship with them. The Steward School is an excellent place for students and has a stunning professional theatre facility. We have been able to pursue a high standard of creative and technical excellence in our shows because of the Robins Theatre capabilities like a full rigging system, a professional stage, and gorgeous seating and lobby. Going to a show at The Steward School feels like going to a professional show! Steward has been a wonderful host over the years, and the school's partnership has enhanced our program immensely. You have to see a show at the Robins Theatre!”

- Brooke Abrahamsen, Characterworks artistic director


Steward Voices

Steward is an atmosphere that fosters confidence—something we have seen in all three of our kids. Whether it is playing a new sport, running for a seat on the Honor Council, or singing a solo on Talent Night, they have been encouraged to try, to experience, and to grow.
- Dan and Kathi Campbell, Parents of Abbie ’19, Emma ’17, and Ben ’14

Steward Voices

Steward is the right place for Micah and Kiri because they are able to develop strong connections with their teachers, which in turn facilitates confidence and resilience in their learning. Everyone at Steward knows your name and makes you feel so welcome.
- Paul and Janet Yoon, Parents of Kiri ’27 and Micah ’26

Steward Voices

Steward helped me develop the skills I needed to succeed in college and the courage and confidence to set competitive career goals for myself. But, these skills weren’t lessons I learned just in Steward’s classrooms; they came from the athletic fields, in the hallways, and during Honor Council meetings, too.
- Grace Henderson ’10

Steward Voices

Steward provides Andrew with a nurturing environment which fosters his individualism, develops exemplary character traits, and continuously provides him with creative learning experiences. Consequently, Andrew ‘loves’ school and anticipates each day with joy, enthusiasm, and excitement.
- Betsy Jollay, Grandmother of Andrew O’Leary ’25

Steward Voices

I love all that The Steward School has done for Trace. Steward has uncovered Trace’s talents, celebrated his individuality, and strengthened his belief in himself. The faculty and staff offer an amazing balance of challenge and comfort, encouraging the best from all students. I can’t imagine Trace being anywhere else. Thank you, Steward School.
- Ron Coles, Father of Trace Coles ’19 and Grade 5 Teacher

Steward Voices

Being a member of The Steward School international program has been an awesome experience. The community has helped me tremendously along the way.
- Bowen Chen ’15


Copyright 2014 The Steward School

The Steward School Mission

Our mission at The Steward School is to prepare our students for college and for life in a community defined by robust academics, inspiration, engagement, and care. We invite you to learn why so many families have chosen to become part of our community.


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