It's almost time for the big day. Main Street Theater will be unveiling its doors to show off what a year's worth of renovations will do.
The Houston Press took a tour of the almost-finished facility at 2540 Times Boulevard this week and while the transformation is remarkable, Artistic Director Rebecca Greene Udden was quick to point out that it has still retained its Main Street Theater vibe.
Case in point: The much maligned columns on the floor of the set that obstructed some audience views were not tossed on the scrap heap but immortalized by incorporating them into the new lobby design complete with an expanded snazzier bar area.
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Actor and Capital Campaign Manager Joe Kirkendall showed us the new world inside the stage area itself — by lifting up the roof, they've added a second-floor rehearsal hall and an elevator as well as a much better stage director's room on the second level. "The ceiling used to be very low and tall people like me had lighting instruments around our heads," he said. The theater has been in continuous use since 1982, he said, and thanks to the technological advances since that time that they were able to take advantage of during the renovation, the theater will be able to do much more with lighting and sound. Previously, too many lights or someone turning on a microwave could blow the whole system, he and Udden said.
Inside the black box theater, the chairs are done in blue and can be rearranged into a variety of configurations, Udden said. "The structure is essentially a new building," she said, pointing to one wall whose predecessor they'd hoped to save but found it damaged beyond redemption.
And to everyone's (should we say?) relief, the men's and women's restrooms have been expanded so that just before the show and intermission, would-be users of the facilities don't have to be quite so desperate.
So check out our video and get ready for Main Street's opening show, Silent Sky by playwright Lauren Gunderson, on November 7. Go to mainstreettheater.com for information.