Since its founding in 1963, Center Stage has grown into an important cultural resource, touching the lives of thousands of people in the Baltimore area each year. The popular theater has recently undergone a major $28 million renovation, being revealed in its grand opening on March 3rd, and a name change: from here on the company and its building will be known as Baltimore Center Stage.
“The renovation will allow the building, like the theater’s artistic programming, to embrace both the old and the new, with a design that structurally reflects the building’s rich history while providing state-of-the-art patron services and modern architectural elements,” says Michael Ross, Baltimore Center Stage’s Managing Director.
“The White Snake is a visually stunning piece, and we thought it would be the perfect way to showcase the brand new Head Theater,” Ross says, speaking of Tony-Award winner Mary Zimmerman’s play, the first to be staged in the newly renovated theater.
Natsu Onada Power on directing White Snake in the new Head Theater
In addition to a redesign of the theater’s fourth-floor Head Theater in time to open White Snake, Baltimore Center Stage has added a new bar and lounge called the Deering Lounge, has updated the Pearlstone Theater on the first floor with improved sound and lighting, and added a new 99-seat theater—the Third Space—allowing it to produce more adventurous works, as well as provide a space for family programming.
“We’ve added a brand new education center (the Eddie C. and C. Sylvia Brown Education Center) and a new costume shop (the Terry H. Morgenthaler Costume Shop) on the fourth floor as well,” Ross says.
“The first thing audiences will notice is a much more open and welcoming space. We’ve created more opportunities for art making and community building, with new public spaces to gather before and after shows and state-of-the-art performance spaces with the best in theater design and technology.”
The project architect was Cho Benn Holback and the contractor was Whiting-Turner. The Head Theater design was done by Charcoalblue, a theater design company based in London.
“The performers will have the opportunity to work in a world-class theater,” Ross says. “We also have two great rehearsal spaces—The Andrus Rehearsal Hall has soaring ceilings and lots of natural light, and we’ve added a second, smaller rehearsal room (The Smith Studio). Part of our capital campaign was also devoted to artist compensation and upgrading our artist housing near the theater.”
The White Snake marks the grand opening of the Head Theatre, Friday, March 3. For more information, visit www.centerstage.org or call the box office at 410.332.0033.