Saturday, October 25, 2008

Attend the tale of a new theatre.

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: 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. (


VioletSky said...

That is exciting! It sounds quite an ambitious renovation that the neighbourhood should be thrilled about when it is all done.

Our town is also getting a new theatre - the old cop shop has already been demolished - but yours will be ready first.

Jay said...

It sounds as if this will be a huge step forward for your theatre!

And you have a quality performer to bring in the crowds! Excellent.

Mr. Nighttime said...

VS-Yeah, we're really looking forward to it, and it will be a ground floor opportunity as this neighborhood starts to revive itself. (read:Gentrification.)

jay - indeed, we do have some fine talent, and there is more on the way! (Can't talk about that just yet.)

Guyana-Gyal said...

Very exciting. How I enjoy production work, the behind-the-scenes part of theatre, I did it a couple of times at university, there's something about the art scene that just gets me all zippy and happy.

Peter said...

I know how much the theater means to you, so I'm real pleased your theatre soon will have a new home!

Maybe a hint to get a jpg online:

if you're on Windows try pressing 'print screen' and paste the image in your graphics program. I've often managed to get quite high res .jpg images this way.

I'm really looking forward seeing an impression of your future new home away from home.

Mr. Nighttime said...

Peter - I had in converted into a jpeg, but now, when, I try to post it through Blogger, it distorts the colors....I'm not sure what to do now...

Peter said...

As much as I like Blogger, I left over 2 y ago due to (not similar but annoying) issues.

I wanted a flexible import/export option and more access to the pure code, which then was not available in Blogger.

Blogger has changed (sometimes offering selected features Wordpress doesn't) and I hope you can be assisted with that jp(e)g issue in their forum(s).