Gettell Amphitheater was built in 1961 and
named for Richard Glenn Gettell, president
of the College during the years 1957–1968.
It is located on Pageant Green. Pageant Green
became the site of May
Day celebrations at Mount Holyoke College
for many years (the pageant originally occurred
on Prospect Hill). Eventually benches were
installed on the green and in 1961 these
benches morphed in to an amphitheater.
McGee holding an English class on the Pageant
of MHC Archives. (8)
Shurcliff worked with architects Carl Koch
and Associates to design the amphitheater.
Together they worked to design a structure
that would grow out from the environment.
They succeeded with Gettell Amphitheater
which follows the natural slope of the Pageant
Green Hill and does not obstruct the view
of the nearby lake. The amphitheater was
constructed to accommodate 2,500 spectators
seated in concentric rings which descend
from an arcade at the crest of the hill to
an acoustic shell near the bottom.
modle of Richard Glenn Gettell Amphitheather. Courtesy
of MHC Archives. (9)
amphitheater remains the same today. In
fact, the college still uses sheets of
grass (just like Shurcliff had designed)
to pad the grass seats (pictured on top
left). The Amphitheater is still used for
Commencement and other activies.
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