For those wondering what ever happened to Landless Theatre Company, the answer arrived this morning. Landless Theatre Company, headed by Producing Artistic Director Andrew Baughman, is busy working on two fronts: a breakthrough new musical adaptation and the opening of an arts incubator space in Frederick, Md.
The new East Street Arts Center, currently a 12,000 square foot former church space, is at 919-B N. East Street in Frederick, Md. Once completed, the Arts Center will feature a 100 seat performance venue, classrooms, rehearsal space, and an Art Gallery. A “soft opening” is scheduled for December 5, 2015, and the grand opening is planned for February 1, 2016.
We once dubbed Landless Theatre “the South Park of the DC theatre scene.” It was Landless which gleefully debuted musicals like Walmartopia, Cannibal! The Musical, and Perez Hilton Saves the Universe. But their specialty was any musical they could rock out. Landless surprised everyone when they received permission from Stephen Sondheim to create a “Prog Metal” version of Sweeney Todd. The 2014 production was nominated for three Helen Hayes Awards. The concept fit so well in their wheelhouse that they are now working on a “Symphonic Metal” version of the Tony Award winning musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood, aiming for a first performance in summer of 2016.
“Our project with Sondheim shifted our focus to the national level,” Baughman announced in today’s press release. “Now that we are developing such exclusive and unique works, we want to present them in multiple East Coast cities rather than one time in DC. My wife [Melissa Baughman, Associate Artistic Director] and I are Frederick residents, so Frederick seemed like a great central location to set up our studio.”
Landless has signed a 15 month lease with the intention to grow into permanent tenancy in this or another Frederick location. The company’s first major initiative, the “Arts Incubator Program,” will provide work and performance space for up to 8 new or fledgling professional arts companies.
“We believe a diverse community is essential to a thriving arts scene,” Baughman said. “We hope not only to bring more foot traffic out to the East Street corridor, but to help cultivate new Frederick arts organizations that will be able to carry on independently – hopefully in the future Ausherman Arts downtown space.”
The Arts Incubator Program is open to fledgling organizations or individuals with a vision to build a unique theatre, performing arts, or new media company in the Frederick region. Landless will be accepting applications and interviewing prospective incubator groups in theatre, performing arts, new media, and visual arts mediums.
Applicants interested in the program should submit an email of interest to artsincubato[email protected]. The deadline is November 30, 2015.
More details on the program and ways to support the new center, are at landlesstheatre.com.