My theatre has a new home!
Two weeks ago, the theatre I work with signed a 10-year lease for a new home, a former auto shop/bush washing garage that will be converted into a 140-seat, thrust stage theatre for the 2009-2010 season. (Down from our current 200-seat theatre, but we will be adding extra performances to make up the difference.) We have been looking for 15 months for a new home, as we have outgrown the space we have been in since 1997, and are looking for a place that is at ground level. Currently, we are on the second floor of a church, and it is hard for older and disabled patrons to make it up the stairs for performances. (The church is a historic building, and is not bound by the ADA rules regarding handicapped accessibility.)
This new theatre is near the Auditorium Center in Rochester, the theatre where Broadway traveling shows come through for the Rochester Broadway Theatre League. It is a very visible location, and we are busy planning a capital campaign to raise the needed $250,000 to renovate the building. We will be getting help from the owner, who is making certain needed (and expensive) improvements himself, which will be a big help.
First up on the fund raising effort is an enormous lift from one of our alumnus, Donna Lynne Champlin. She is a popular Broadway and Off-Broadway actress that got her start at Blackfriars at 15 in "Sunday In The Park With George," and performed in many other shows, most notably "Sweeny Todd." As all life is a circle, she was in the most recent Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd, playing "Pirelli," (along side Patti Lupone) and was Carol Burnett's personal choice to play her in "Hollywood Arms," which was written by Burnett and her daughter, Carrie.
She is bringing her one woman show, "Finishing The Hat," to Blackfriars for two perfomances in November with proceeds going to our capital campaign. You can check her out here:
http://donnalynnechamplin.com/biography.html There is also a link on her site to Finishing The Hat. ("FTH" on the top of the page.)
I am trying to get a high res .jpg of a rendering of the new theatre to post, as Blogger doesn't accept PDF, and will post it here ASAP. We will also be putting a new page on the Blackfriars website very shortly dedicated to it. (www.blackfriars.org)
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