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Cramer Center Celebrates 20th Anniversary

The Steward School
A beloved creative space

On a sunny October afternoon, the Steward community gathered along the Colonnade to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Paul R. Cramer Center for the Arts. Opened in 2002, the Center is home to Steward’s visual and performing arts. The building — a showcase for Spartan talent — houses the 500-seat Lora M. Robins Theatre, 110-seat Blackbox Theatre, Carolyn R. Brandt Art Gallery, and art and music classrooms.

An anonymous $15 million gift to Steward in 1997 stipulated that two-thirds of the gift be used for a fine arts center named in honor of Paul R. Cramer, who served as Head of School from 1975-94. Thanks to the donors’ generosity, plus a capital campaign, Wilton Hall, the Athletic Center, and the Cramer Center were built between 1997 and 2002.

The birthday party, complete with cookies, lemonade, and hands-on art projects, was made even more special with the attendance of three members of Mr. Cramer’s family.

Spartan Talent
Students from all divisions shared their gifts at the festive event.

Cambridge Charles ’32 performed a lilting rendition of “Für Elise” on the piano; violinist Jack Groves ’31 thrilled the crowd with “The Arkansas Traveler,” a mid-19th-century folk song; Mary Kate Hrabek ’31 and Campbell Hrabek ’35 harmonized on “Any Dream Will Do,” a charming tune from “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”; and Lower School Music Teachers Erin Roukous (harp) and Sandy Dacus (flute) performed “O Mio Babbino Caro” from Puccini’s “Gianni Schicci.” 

Connor Murray ’24 sang “Close Every Door to Me,” from “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and Charlotte Olexy ’24 and Elise Gresham ’24 sang selections from “The Addams Family,” which will be performed at Steward in November. Jordan Solomon ’26 played guitar and sang “Lemon Boy,” and the pep band, under the direction of Middle/Upper School Instrumental Music Teacher John McAlister, played three selections: “The Hey Song,” (with the crowd enthusiastically waving their hands and chiming in for each “hey!”), “School’s Out,” and “Subway Surfer.”  

A Spotlight on Talent
The Center serves as a beautiful venue for artistic expression. Its performance spaces are used by Spartans of all ages. Thanks to the Center, students can learn about tech design and lighting; stagehands build impressive sets; actors shine onstage; choral and band students share their talent; and audiences are captivated by inspiring performances.

View the Steward Snaps from the Cramer Center 20th Anniversary Celebration.

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