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The John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts

The John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts at night

Villanova’s new Center for the Performing Arts is a hub for performances, creativity, engagement and exploration for the University’s performing arts community, enriching Villanova’s campus and enhancing educational opportunities across the University. 

The $60 million Mullen Center project was funded entirely through philanthropic support, including two $20 million leadership gifts and seven total gifts of $1 million or more. The building is named in recognition of a $20 million leadership gift from John and Joan Mullen ’95 CPS. The Topper Theatre—a 400-seat proscenium style theatre—recognizes a $20 million leadership gift from the chair of Villanova’s Board of Trustees, Joseph Topper ’77 VSB, and his wife, Maureen. The project was also bolstered by more than 750 individual donors.

The approximately 85,000 square foot Mullen Center features three state-of-the-art performance spaces, as well as studios and classrooms to support education and innovation. The 400-seat Topper Theatre will host theatre productions, concerts and various University-wide events. It features tailored acoustics, state-of-the-art theatrical lighting and a 30-member orchestra pit. The building’s 200-seat courtyard theatre, which will also be the home for Villanova Theatre productions and other student performances, includes flexible seating with a balcony and technologically advanced lighting and sound equipment. The Center also features a Performance Lab, with accommodations for approximately 100 people, that will serve as an additional space for teaching and performing.