A Few of Our Favorite Things
Over this past year, we asked leadership, our board president, and entire shops and staff members what they were most looking forward to about the new building.
Terry tells us why she’s excited for the new Baltimore Center Stage
More than 30 years ago, Terry Morgenthaler started her career at Baltimore Center Stage as a Development Associate. Now, she is Board President and, thanks to her generous support, the namesake of our new Terry H. Morgenthaler Costume Shop. Here are two reasons why Terry is looking forward to Baltimore Center Stage’s new chapter:
- New Shops!
As a young employee, I was fascinated by the creation of our beautiful costumes and props... We make everything here that you see on stage! But the fabrics were in the halls, buttons on one floor and sewing machines on another, the working spaces were tight and had nasty hard floors. And where oh where was the fitting room? The new costume shop will have everything in one large, beautiful room with streaming natural light and wood sprung floors providing a healthy working space for our world-class designers, pattern makers, and stitchers. And the fitting room? A lovely space right next door.
- Showing Our True Colors
This one is my favorite because it involves my better half, Patrick Kerins. As sports fans, we were delighted when our wonderful city lit up in purple during the Ravens post season. I began to wonder why a theater like ours, which does amazing performance lighting, doesn’t join in this beautiful display of Baltimore pride. Patrick graciously sponsored the installation of new exterior lighting. Now, we can glow orange for the O’s, purple for the Ravens, and any other color you can name!
Why David Can’t Wait for the new costume shop
For 30 years, Costume Shop Manager David Burdick has been a visionary designer and costumer for Baltimore Center Stage, and he is much admired throughout the theater community. After creating many stunning pieces, David could not be more excited for the new Terry H. Morgenthaler Costume Shop:
- A New Space Specifically Designed to be a Costume Shop
The old space was split between the old library and a room across the hall. The new space has been specifically designed to be a costume shop. And now it’s all in one open area!
- Letting In the Light
Working in the costume shop sometimes felt a little stuffy and closed off. With big windows and new skylights, the new shop will be much more inviting for the staff and visiting artists, and better lighting ensures the quality of our work.
- The Long-awaited Dye Vat
After 30 years of wishing, the shop is finally getting a dye vat! This will allow us to dye larger quantities of fabric at a time, making costume production much more efficient.
3 exciting Things about our Renovated Home
Education Coordinator Kristina Szilagyi is in her fifth season at Baltimore Center Stage. In this time she has been an integral part of the small-but-mighty Education Department. She has a lot to be excited about this year with the renovation, including the brand new Eddie C. and C. Sylvia Brown Education Suite—a new addition off the existing fourth floor of our historic building:
- A space dedicated to community and education
This sounds obvious, but I really can’t get over how awesome it will be to have a space we can fill with community and educational programming every day of the week. And there will be windows, for lots of natural light!
- Goldilocks and the 99-seat theater!
Performances by and for our students are often either swallowed up by the large Pearlstone Theater, or scrunched into the Andrus Rehearsal Hall. The new 99-seat theater, The Third Space, will be juuuust right for performances, readings, and community events.
- The less glamorous improvements…
I’m looking forward to the plumbing and HVAC systems keeping up with us! I’m thrilled we are making much needed improvements, but I love this company and our building, which is filled with memories for all of us. I am comforted to know that when we move back in, it will still feel like home.
3 Reasons Mandy is Excited about the Renovation
Baltimore Center Stage’s own Audience Relations and Box Office Manager Mandy Benedix has MANY reasons why this is the best time to join Baltimore Center Stage as a Member in the 2016/17 Season. Here are just three:
- Open concept Box Office
No more shouting through a screeching microphone when you pick up your tickets. No smudgy plexi-glass between us and our patrons. The Marilyn Meyerhoff Box Office will be centrally located in the updated 1st floor lobby with no obstacles between our patrons and the staff.
- Scan tickets on your phone!
Beginning with The White Snake, we go beyond the print-at-home tickets method with new scanners that will let us scan your tickets directly from your smart phone.
- A new spacious lobby bar
No more claustrophobic hallway where the bar and the bathroom lines converge. The modernized 1st and 2nd floor spaces will have ample room to order a preshow meal and grab a drink and a seat prior to the show.
Jerri Can’t Wait to move into the New Baltimore Center stage
Now entering her twelfth season, Subscriptions Manager Jerrilyn (Jerri) Keene is a much beloved member of the Baltimore Center Stage family. After recently joining a donor tour of the new building still under construction, Jerri is even more excited to head back to Calvert Street.
- Coming Home
Our temporary location on Sisson Street in the Remington neighborhood of Baltimore is a great space, and I’ve enjoyed being here, but there is truly no place like home!
- Getting in the Groove
I’m really looking forward to getting to know the new sounds and rhythms of our renovated building. The hum of the new HVAC system, the syncopation of passing patrons and actors, new echoes in familiar spaces—I look forward to being reintroduced to the building I know so well.
- Back to Basics
I love that a majority of the architectural changes at the new building enhance its original beauty. They are taking the makeup off to reveal an even more beautiful space!
- Last but Not Least…
I’m ready for the official 2016/17 Season to begin! There is definitely something for everyone this year and I look forward to welcoming our Members and patrons back home!
5 Reasons Alec can’t wait for the NEW Baltimore Center Stage
Many Baltimore Center Stage patrons know Alec Lawson. As Front-of-House Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, Alec is completely committed to a positive and welcoming patron experience. Here are some of the reasons Alec is most excited about the new Baltimore Center Stage this season:
- New 4th Floor Bar
With the addition of a 4th floor Deering Lounge and a new bar, picking up a drink will be more convenient than ever. Plus, the new lobby will provide a comfortable and dynamic space for patrons to gather and mingle before performances.
- Easy Intermission
More convenient bar locations (for both theaters!) mean patrons can easily purchase refreshments and return to their seats within the 15-minute intermissions.
- A Brand New Green Initiative
Baltimore Center Stage will be switching to all compostable and/or recyclable dinnerware and recycling receptacles to better serve the community and our environment.
- Bar Discount Program
A complete restructuring of our bar discount program will give the maximum benefits and discounts to Full Season Members and Donors as a thank you for continued support.
- Opportunity for Merchandise
New bars mean new spaces and opportunities to purchase select merchandise and Baltimore Center Stage gear.
3 Reasons Michael is Excited about the Renovation
Managing Director Michael Ross returned to Baltimore Center Stage this summer, just in time for the most significant season in recent history. Michael, who served as managing director from 2002 to 2008, shares his unique perspective, which embraces both the history and the potential of Center Stage’s renovation project. Here are a few of the things he’s looking forward to:
- Welcoming everyone back
The wonders of our renovation start at the front door. I’m looking forward to greeting our audience members as they enter the building through the new Peter Culman Plaza, dedicated in memory of our beloved former managing director, who was a mentor of mine and a friend to all.
- My personal favorite spot
My favorite place is the fourth floor Nancy Roche Chapel and its painted glass windows (as opposed to stained). Thanks to our generous donors, these windows are being restored to their full original beauty. Plus, brilliant architectural choices ensure that despite additional construction, natural light will still stream through these windows.
- The New Quote Wall
This signature feature of the renovation represents what a play starts with—the writer, the words. My favorite quote on the wall: “There are billions of new worlds and new words waiting to be discovered, explored, and illuminated.” —Eric Overmeyer, On the Verge, Or the Geography of Learning.
Let our electrics team illuminate why they love the renovation
The Baltimore Center Stage Electrics Department paints the stage with light to create the atmosphere, mood, and environment of every production through breathtaking lighting designs. They have a lot to be excited for when renovations are complete.
- The New and Improved Head Theater
The infrastructure additions and modifications to the Head Theater, including tension wire grids, new circuitry, and added lighting positions, will be an incredible advantage to us. The new low lighting positions will be snuggled in and around the audience, giving designers access to this very useful (and previously inaccessible) position. Setting up our equipment will now be much more efficient.
- LED Lights are Coming!
We’re excited about adding LEDs to our inventory. They will allow us to realize our designer’s vision more fully by creating that exact shade of pink to represent a romantic sunset, or the exact shade of green that perfectly complements the ingénue’s dress. Gaining the capacity to change color quietly and instantaneously will allow us to respond more effectively to a designer’s needs, and in the end, create a more beautiful, vibrant world for the actors to explore.
- Mama’s Got a Brand New Bag of Toys
Or in the real world, new gear! We will be adding new LED Source Fours, LED PARs, LED strip sights, and new Martin moving fixtures to our existing inventory of conventional fixtures. An extra highlight is the acquiring of the ETC Eos TI lighting console. This will allow us to be even more adept at meeting the needs of designers and communicating with projections and sound in a way that we were unable to do last season. We are looking forward to seeing how this technology will inspire interdepartmental collaboration.
- Training Future Artists
Most exciting is that with the renovation we are able to bring in new technology and integrate it into the building as a whole, not just inside the theaters. With this new technology we are able to not only expose our patrons to our craft but we are able to teach our current and future interns in a way that gives them hands-on experience with the technology of tomorrow.
Watch the new Head Theater change from one play to the next
“We are changing everything,” said John Owens, designer of the theater from internationally acclaimed theater design company Charcoalblue. “We’ve studied lots of different theaters, and we’ve come up with a scheme that provides flexibility.”
The new Head Theater will offer:
- Variety between shows
The new space will offer three major configurations: End Stage, Thrust, and Proscenium
- Enhanced experience
The theater has been designed with state-of-the-art technical equipment and improved acoustics.
- Save your seats
The new seating area has been designed to allow Members to keep ownership of the seats they request at the beginning of the season.
- Audience accessibility
The dynamic space will create a natural flow from the lobby into the theater, allowing for greater accessibility for all patrons and a more cohesive experience.
- The result? A more intimate theater experience.
“Closeness is about experiencing the art together as a community,” explained John. “The reason we attend live theater is because we can experience that drama first hand and feel the passion of the actor. That’s why we’re bringing everybody a lot closer.” “It’s an act of communion, really,” said Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah. “It’s an act of us all being here together, sharing and feeling.”