A Christmas Story

About the Forest Roberts Theatre

The Forest Roberts Theatre is one of the finest university theaters in the nation. The performance space boasts computerized lighting control and sound systems maintained from both an overhead and ground-floor booth, a full-size orchestra pit, and seats for 515 patrons. Backstage, one can find a massive fly space, four props and scenery decks, two 25-mirror dressing rooms, a green room, an electrics shop, and costume storage.

Theatre majors put what they learn in performance and technical theatre classes into practice onstage and backstage in up to six major productions per year. Classes are often taught in the FRT itself. 

View the theatre's technical specifications


FRT Seating Diagram

FRT Seating Diagram

The Forest Roberts Theatre seats 515 people in an orchestra-level continental seating arrangement. Wheelchair-accessible seating is available and marked in pink on the above seating map. Click here to enlarge!

Theater Rules and Guidelines

  • Photos and Video - Cameras and recording devices are not permitted in the theatre. The unauthorized photographing or recording of performances is forbidden by royalty agreements with the leasing company.
  • Smoking – No smoking is permitted. NMU is a tobacco-free university.
  • Restrooms – Women's and men’s restrooms are located in the Lambda Chi Alpha lobby. Additional restrooms are available in the lobby of the Music Department in the Thomas Fine Arts building.
  • Refreshments – Food and drink may not be brought into the theater. Bottled water is allowed.
  • Water Fountains – Located in the west end of the lobby between the men’s restroom and the coatroom.
  • Coatroom – Located in the west end of the lobby. There is no charge for this service, but tips are appreciated and will be donated to Alpha Psi Omega.
  • Courtesy Phone – Located in the east side of the lobby. Dial “9” to access local calls only.
  • Infrared Listening System – Digital infrared hearing devices are available free of charge at every performance for patrons who are hearing impaired. They can be obtained from the house manager or box office staff.
  • Fire Exits – Clearly marked by illuminated fire exit signs.
  • Lost and Found – To inquire about personal belongings that may have been left in the theater, please call the Box Office at 227-2553.
  • Special Assistance – Available at any time throughout the evening. Ask your usher or the house manager.
  • Babes In Arms  are not permitted in the theater.
  • Cell Phones  should be turned off or set on silent mode.  Any patron creating a disturbance with an errant cell phone will be asked to leave.

Forest Roberts Theatre Namesake

The Forest Roberts Theatre is named after Forest A. Roberts, who established NMU's first courses in drama and directed many productions during his time as a faculty member. He also helped to establish the Speech Department at Northern, now known as Communication and Media Studies, in 1955.

Forest Roberts Theatre Technical Specifications

  • Seating capacity 515, including wheelchair seating
  • Continental seating 16 rows, orchestra level only
  • Proscenium opening 36' wide and 17' high
  • Depth of stage 32' plaster line to the upstage wall on centerline
  • Depth of apron 7' 9" to the plaster line
  • Height 45' stage deck to grid
  • Wing space 30' proscenium to the side wall (both sides)
    • Note: Height obstruction in both wings: 9'0"off proscenium edge -- maximum height 16' 8"
  • 38 single-purchase counterweight linesets -- lock rail is at deck level SR
  • House curtain is red velour -- will fly or travel
  • Two full-stage black velour curtains -- will fly or travel
  • 4 pairs of legs, 10' x 24', black velour
  • 4 borders, 44' x 10', black velour
  • Cyc, 42' x 22', white filled scrim
  • Dressing rooms are on substage level with direct access to backstage areas
  • Men's dressing room is SL and women's is SR
  • Men's and women's dressing rooms each have 25 individual lighted stations with lighted mirrors, sinks, toilets, and showers
  • From SL, through electrics shop
  • 8 x 8 rollup loading doors
  • Doors are at ground level; trucks will need ramps
  • 100-amp company switch with CAM-Loc connectors located in electrics shop (SL)
  • Control is ETC Expression 3 lighting control console with ETC remote focus unit
  • DMX cable runs from board to location of company switch
  • Dimmers are 96 ETC sensor dimmers in 2 racks of 48 dimmers each, and 48 Strand CD80 AMX dimmers with Response DMX to AMX converter
  • Boards
    • Allen & Heath G3800 (48 ch)
    • Yamaha Digital 01V96 (16/32 ch)
  • Speakers
    • Turbo Sound TXD 151- 15" 2 way FOH
    • Turbo Sound TXD 215- dual 15" subwoofers
  • Amplifiers
    • 2 - QSC PL236b
    • 1 - Crown PowerTech 1
  • Headsets
    • Clearcom PS-20 power supply
    • 12 headsets and belt packs.
    • Stations
      • SR, SL (2 each)
      • lighting control
      • sound control (rear of auditorium)
      • HL and HR spot towers
      • lobby (handset for house manager)

Explore the Department of Theatre and Dance

You can also contact us directly with any questions you may have:  |  906-227-2760