Soka Performing Arts Center

Soka Performing Arts Center   Soka Performing Arts Center interior   Soka Performing Arts Center Interior 2

Soka University's beautiful new Soka Performing Arts Center and the adjacent new Wangari Maathai Hall classroom building are open, adding approximately 95,000 square feet to the SUA Campus.  Located behind Founders Hall, the Soka Performing Arts Center features world-class acoustics designed by Yasuhisa Toyota, designer of noted performance venues like the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Suntory Hall in Tokyo.  In addition, Maathai features our new Black Box Theatre (seating 180) and dance studio, and adds 10 classrooms and 30 additional offices to support academic programs.   Go to Soka Performing Arts Center home page at

SUA blackbox theater   SUA dance room

Designed to truly reflect the university's commitment to sustainability, both buildings have been certified to Gold LEED standards and feature vegetated green roofs.  Photo voltaic cells on the Soka Performing Arts Center roof generate approximately 15% of the facility's electrical needs.  See our solar generation statistics!

Soka Performing Arts Center was dedicated on May 27th with the Commencement for the Class of 2011.  The grand opening was on September 17, 2011.

Founders Hall and Soka Performing Arts Center

Thanks to Susan Matsumoto for sharing the photo above of Founders Hall and the Soka Performing Arts Center at dusk.

David PalmerSoka University welcomes Soka Performing Arts Center General Manager David Palmer
Tours  of new Center added to daily tour schedule

After 19 successful years with the Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts at Whittier College, David Palmer has taken on a new challenge – opening the new 1000-seat Soka Performing Arts Center at Soka University in Aliso Viejo.  As the new General Manager for Soka Performing Arts Center, Palmer has the rare opportunity to staff the new facility and to program its first season – which opened on September 17, 2011 with a Grand Opening concert featuring Pacific Symphony and Horacio Gutierrez. Interested future concert goers can get a “sneak peek” at the new Center by taking one of Soka University’s daily walking tours, offered at 10 am and 2 pm Monday – Saturday and departing from Founders Hall.  (Register for free tours online at

“My first impression when walking into the Soka Performing Arts Center was “Wow…This is incredible!” says Palmer with a smile.  “This is one of the most beautiful halls that I’ve ever been in.  The acoustical consultant was Yasuhisa Toyota of Nagata Acoustics – who also did the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.  We tested the acoustics with a rehearsal by the Pacific Symphony and we invited all of the construction workers to come and hear the results of all of their hard work.  It was a wonderful evening – and the sound was amazing.”

Palmer will initially be focusing on classical and traditional music that will be enhanced by the hall’s rich acoustics.  “We’ll start with just a few fine programs as we explore the Center’s capabilities,” he added.  “We expect to include both international, national and local talent – and I also look forward to working with our local schools.”   Palmer noted that the Soka Performing Arts Center has also received LEEDS Gold certification -- citing its solar panels, glass shading, green roof and environmentally sensitive construction.

Interview with David Palmer (5 minute video)

Contact: David Palmer, General Manager for the Soka Performing Arts Center,,  949.480.4380

Map and Directions:

Address: Soka Performing Arts Center, Soka University, 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

Ticket information

Subscribe to Soka Performing Arts Center email list.

Subscribe to SUA's once a month email about all upcoming arts and campus events.