About

Soka University's beautiful new 1,000-seat Soka Performing Arts Center and Wangari Maathai Hall add 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, acoustic designer of noted performance venues like the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Suntory Hall in Tokyo.  In addition, the adjacent Maathai Hall features a new black box theater and dance studio, and adds 11 classrooms and 29 additional offices to support academic programs.

Designed to truly reflect the university's commitment to sustainability, both buildings have been built to high 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 Soka Performing Arts Center Fact Sheet and solar generation statistics!

  Concert Hall Image

Additional support facilities include four large-group dressing rooms plus a star dressing room, each with their own restroom and shower facilities; laundry facilities for touring groups; sound isolated rehearsal rooms; ample loading space with truck height dock; extensive state-of-the-art audio, video and lighting capabilities; and multiple power connection services for touring productions.

Soka University welcomes Soka Performing Arts Center General Manager David Palmer

David Palmer

New Center added to daily tours

After 19 successful years with the Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts at Whittier College, David Palmer is taking 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.

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 www.soka.edu/tours.)

Video Interview with David Palmer (5 minutes)

Quick Facts:


  • Concert Hall Seating – 1032 (variable) on three levels
  • Black Box Theatre Seating – 180 (variable)

Construction Credits:

Soka Performing Arts Center Concert Hall Thrust Configuration

Soka Performing Arts Center Concert Hall Thrust Configuration

Black Box Theatre

Black Box Theatre