Studio Acting Conservatory, the Joy Zinoman-led acting school previously evicted from its home at Studio Theatre, will begin work on its new 6,000 square foot Holmead Place digs and expects to have the building ready in one hundred days, the Conservatory announced Tuesday, May 5, 2020.
The company also held a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, complete with the shattering of a bottle of champagne against a stone railing guarding the front steps.
The building, formerly a Mormon church, will be converted into an acting school by Infinity Building Services, a Bowie, Maryland-based construction firm which has principally specialized in restaurant projects. Infinity President Adam White, who spoke at the ceremony, pledged that in addition to observing all applicable CDC guidelines Infinity would install heated handwashing stations, and would use construction crews of no more than ten people at a time. In addition, White said, Infinity would disinfect the entire building once a week.
Construction has been deemed an “essential” industry in DC and has been permitted to proceed while some other businesses are shut down.
Veteran set designer Debra Booth, collaborating with architect Jon Hensley, created the design for the building’s interior which Infinity will execute.
Marvin Bowser, a member of the Conservatory’s Board of Trustees, is also a member of the Mayor’s DC Opens Committee and spoke at the groundbreaking. Bowser, a retired defense contractor and an occasional actor, is also a Board member of the Hillcrest Community Citizens Association and the older brother of DC Mayor Muriel Bowser.
Zinoman, who called the Conservatory’s mission “hopeful and sacred”, said that the reopening of theater was “inevitable and necessary.” She hailed the $2.3 million donation made by Dan and Gloria Logan, and noted that the building would be called “Logan Place” in their honor.
The Conservatory is currently giving classes online; before the pandemic, it occupied space at the former Garnet-Patterson Middle School. Zinoman said she expected to have classes in the new facility starting in September.
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