The Clay Theater has been operational since 1968, but it still feels fresh. One acoustic challenge of the space is its very different uses: artists and musicals that use amplification on one hand, and acoustic sounds like symphonic orchestras on the other.

Amplified shows are pumped through a PA system that is still relatively new. For acoustic acts, the rear walls of the stage fold out and around the musicians, forming a bandshell that projects more of this quieter sound toward the audience.

The best seats in any theater are usually lost to a center aisle, where the surfaces evenly reflect the sound. But the Clay theater has “continental” seating, which means that rows extend all the way across the venue but are wide enough to allow for easy passage.

Pro-tip: Grab those center seats for an acoustically ideal experience. — KP

1 Fine Arts Drive, 304.293.7469,