Chip WorkingkochSam HoustonPritzkerEIUCowles

About Theatre Planning


Schuler Shook excels at working collaboratively and creatively to achieve excellence in design. We strive to inform the design process in the most positive ways possible to reinforce the architectural concepts and to assure that the building supports the work of the artists engaged there.

Our projects include opera houses, professional theatres, concert halls, dance theatres, ballrooms, worship spaces, and performance venues for universities and high schools; they range from less than 100 seats to over 15,000 seats. Our expertise includes the following areas of specialization:

• Feasibility studies
• Architectural programming
• Theatre planning and building planning
• Theatre seating and seating conveying systems
• Stage rigging systems
• Stage curtains and tracks
• Stage and orchestra lifts
• Platforming systems
• Stage lighting systems

Our practice is continually sharpened with the experience that each project brings. We maintain an openness to the unique aspects of every performing arts facility and each stakeholder. We believe in flexibility, practicality, and expandability. Above all, we design theatres that work, both now and in the future.


Schuler Shook was founded in 1986 by partners Duane Schuler and Robert Shook. Our original offices in Chicago and Minneapolis were supplemented in 2001 with the addition of our Dallas office and in 2009 with the addition of our office in Melbourne, Australia. We have grown to over 35 full time employees, our consultants coming from backgrounds as diverse as theatrical lighting, technical direction, architectural lighting, electrical engineering, and interior design.

We are committed to continuing education in all aspects of our practice, and in serving our profession by regularly presenting and attending local, national, and international educational opportunities. We are also deeply committed to sustainability, and many of our consultants maintain their standing as          LEED® Accredited Professionals.

Our work takes us to nearly every continent, and our projects range from intimate to epic. We enjoy challenges, we work hard, and we laugh a lot. We take pride in our work, and we value the relationships that we build as we create.

University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College
University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College

"Schuler Shook did a fantastic job of translating the many needs of our performing arts organizations into a flexible and exciting design for our performing arts space. Their experience as theatre people gives them a special ability to understand what we need our new theatre to do for us."

Joyce A. Moffatt, former General Manager, Harris Theater for Music and Dance

Sarasota Opera House
Sarasota Opera House