McClure Theatre now scheduled to open in November

sokamoto@ledger-enquirer.comSeptember 12, 2013 

Mississippi Mud, Bittersweet Chocolate and Eucalyptus.

Those are the colors of the walls and accent pieces in the new Dorothy W. McClure Theatre of the Springer Opera House. The theater will be the dedicated children's theater space as well as the Springer's Studio II series.

The 300-seat theater is scheduled to open Nov. 14 with the Studio II show "California Dreaming." Originally slated to open in October with the children's show "Pinkalicious," the Springer staff decided to wait to make sure the new theater is completely finished before producing a show there. "Pinkalicious" will be in Foley Hall.

Springer artistic director Paul Pierce says he's excited and scared at the same time about opening the theater.

Excited because it will be the first time a new theater will be built in the Springer complex. And scared because he's waiting on pins and needles to take over occupancy of the building to prepare for its opening.

The doors, designed by Neil Clark of Hecht Burdeshaw Architects, are made of cherry wood and glass. One set faces First Avenue, and the other set opens to the side, where a garden will be planted. The outdoor space will feature tables and chairs near those doors. Farther back, there will be a water feature and a portable stage.

Pierce said the garden space will be ideal for wedding receptions, family reunions and other gatherings, while Foley Hall can be used for weddings and meetings.

He sees both as "a very good source of new revenue" for the theater.

Inside the theater, there will be a portable box office that can be moved before intermission to make the lobby a larger area for the concession stand.

The carpet and light fixtures and all the cherry wood accents bring back an art deco feeling for the lobby area. Behind the concession area, men's and women's rest rooms can be found.

In the performance space, walls are painted Mississippi Mud, featuring panels of Bittersweet Chocolate and Eucalyptus green that are both acoustical and decorative. In the upstairs technical space, the walls are painted Bittersweet Chocolate.

"We can start to see a real picture of what it will look like," Pierce said of the performance space. "I think it will become Columbus' favorite performance venue just because of how different it will be every time people come see a show. It's a space where the magic of theater will really be evident."

It's a "black box" theater, which means the space is usually square painted in dark colors with seating and staging that can be changed for each show. "It can be as formal or informal as we want it to be."

Behind the performance space, there are dressing rooms and a large rehearsal hall.

The McClure Theatre was made possible by an $11.5 million "Set the Stage" capital campaign that was completed in February. In addition to the theater, the money went into building the new education wing with classrooms and offices, the endowment and maintenance funds and repairs and upgrades to the theater.

Related stories:

On stage: Princesses and acrobats come to Columbus

Springer Opera House delays the McClure Theatre opening

Oberlander to open CSU faculty concert

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service