The Bauer Theatre, the building where the dramatic arts flourish on the StFX University campus, originally was the sports centre for the university. In the words of Pat Walsh, Professor of English at StFX, it became "dramatically sportless when the Oland Centre was opened in 1967."
When Theatre Antigonish was founded in 1974, the building became its playing space and was renamed the Bauer Theatre to honour the spirit and accomplishments of Fr. Bauer, beloved priest-director who for so many years fostered a love of drama and the performing arts at StFX University.
From 1974 to 1989, plays were staged a variety of ways, with movable risers and chairs rearranged for every production. In 1990 when Ian Pygott joined the staff as Technical Director, he built a proscenium stage and risers, as well as a technical booth.
In 1995, Addy Doucette and Ron Johnson led a major renovation and transformation of the building. At that time Addy was the Director of both Theatre Antigonish and Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre (FAST), and Ron was Professor of Psychology and a member of the FAST Board of Directors. Ron represented the FAST Board in negotiations with the StFX University Administration on cost sharing for the project. As Chair of the Fund Raising Committee, he cajoled friends, colleagues, and members of the community to pledge support for the ambitious project. Thanks to Ron's and Addy's leadership and the support of StFX University, actors and audiences involved with both FAST and Theatre Antigonish now enjoy a fine performance space with thrust stage, fixed seats, balcony, and lounge area.