Tales of life and art. Theater, knitting, music, and pottery (and anything else I feel like writing about)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Pre-opening Photo Tour

Wanna see what is opening up here this weekend??? They are still putting finishing touches on it, and the "Really Grand Opening" will be in March. (which is when our show opens, and the planetarium will start its programming, and all sorts of other touches will have been finished.) But I was able to go on the donor tour yesterday, and continuing with my construction progress photos, I took more yesterday. It is amazing what they have done just in the month and a half since I was last in there. I can't believe this is HERE!!!

Anyway, I'm in the chorus for "Wizard of Oz" We had our first read through on Sunday, and we held that in the Studio Theatre in the Education wing, which is where we will be rehearsing until a lot closer to opeining the show. (you'll see that below.) I'm also very much looking forward to the pottery studio opening back up. I'm very ready to get back into the swing of that. In addition, they will be adding to the programming dance classes, although no tap classes yet I don't think. There is a lot to be excited about and come see, so on with the tour.

first we come to the signage that will be over the ticketing desk. The "logo" on the sign is the main one for the facility, and is the "silhouette" of the building from the parking lot side.. more or less. We have on site, the only 3 legged water tower left in at least Eastern NC, and possibly the state or even further.

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The main building is a renovated Tobacco Warehouse, of the Imperial Tobacco Company. There were a lot of historic elements they had to keep for preservation, and such. They commissioned a "gate" by an artist to help tie in the tobacco part of things, and this is one side of it. (the main part isn't fully installed yet) but you can sort of make out the tobacco leaf motif in the rail.

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The Gallery opens on Saturday, with the annual Juried art exhibition, and so the show is in the process of going up. Here is a peek at the gallery space with this exhibition being installed. (The people wandering around were part of the donor tour.)

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One of the things the Children's Museum is very excited about is getting their animal habitats back, which they really haven't had since the flood in 1999. (The other very exciting thing for them is the State-of-the-art Planetarium, the only one of it's kind in the Southeast) but back to the animals, here is the touchpool. They started introducing life to it yesterday, and will have a lot more in it on Saturday.

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On to the Education Wing. This is where the classroom space for the facility is located, this building was the old library here in town, the new library is just up the hill within walking distance of the Imperial Centre.

This first shot is of the glaze room in the pottery studio. The pottery studio is new construction that was added on to this building. Pottery is currently the biggest draw of the class room programming. With classes held for kids as young as three, all the way through adults classes and open studio time. In recent years, one of the highschools has held some of their pottery classes at the Arts Center. I don't know if this is planned to continue, but the new facility is only about a mile from the "temporary" facility we have been in since the flood.

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Thnis is is the Dance studio. There are bars and mirrors on both the long walls. I'm looking forward to taking some dance classes myself. We have a dance troupe that is callling the facility home, and they will be teaching classes as well as choreographing the musicals. So I've had the pleasure of meeting two of them already.

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Next we have the Studio Theatre, this is the "black box" space that will also be used as a multipurpose room, for film and lecture series, like I said above, we are rehearsing in this space for the musical, so the tech director can have set building and what not (tech calls) in the theatre and shop while we are rehearsing, to utilize the parents of the munchkins and stuff like that. They are hoping to have some ballroom dances and stuff like that in this space as well. It is the old children's room from when the building was the library.

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And now we get to the main stage. The first two photos are taken from the stage. The first, shows the gallery, and the main seating as well as the pit, the light grid in the house, and the pretty wood panneling. The grid is where the orange is. The "gallery" is like a side balcony, and those seats are movable. The gallery is actually on the lobby level, so that is the level you enter the house on, Handicapped seating is here, as well as at the front of the house, which is accessable by elevator.

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Next we have a main house shot. There are two levels for the lighting/sound booth. One pretty much on gallery level, and the other level is for follow spot and things like that. (you can see the windows at the back of the house)

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And now from the back of the house, in front of the booth, we have a view of the mainstage. I've been told the main proscenium is soft goods, so I'm not sure how that is going to work yet, or how much they are going to mask, but obvously they aren't installed yet. They were still painting in here, which is why the house seats are covered. I'm not sure how much other stuff is left to do, but it is looking great! We are really looking forward to using the facility. down in the pit, you see an orange square. This is where the pit load in door is open (for larger instruments.) What you are seeing there is the hallway with the dressing rooms and such. There is a greenroom and a few private dressing roooms on the main stage level.

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Well there's the tour for now... Ribbon cutting on Saturday at 10, with activities going on all day. The Wizard of Oz will open on St. Patrick's Day.


Blogger Trillian42 said...

WOW! What an awesome facility! I love that you have such a great rehearsal space. That is one thing the theatres in Meadville definitely lacked.

Of course, you are making me really miss doing theatre... Guess I'd better get on that resolution about auditioning for something, huh?

How long does "Oz" run? I've got family in town on St' Pat's weekend, but if it runs longer, I might be able to make it.


12:21 PM

Blogger Margot said...

It's really shaping up. And you're in the debut show!


1:30 AM

Anonymous K Sanford said...

Thanks for sharing. It's amazing to Mike and I that Rocky Mount will have a facility like that. Definitely shows the wonderful community support for the arts. Rocky Mount should be very proud to have such a fine facility.

Take care of yourself! We miss you!

7:49 PM


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