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.





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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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Whether setting the stage, striking a chord, creating a masterpiece, or simply exploring individual talents and interests, exposure to the arts develops important life skills necessary for students to succeed in academic areas and everyday life experiences. By providing our students with multiple creative outlets, we seek to nurture talents, build confidence, and help students discover passions.


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