As Broadway and the nation’s live theaters get ready to reopen this fall, Theatre Arlington is planning its return for January 2022 for a dramatic reason. When Arlington’s only live theater opens its 49th season, the curtain will rise on a long overdue renovation, not only bringing the theater up to date, but also taking it into a show-stopping future.
Currently underway at the corner of West Main and West streets, the theater’s update includes:
- Updated exterior and entry
- Box office
- Expanded lobby
- Concessions/bar area
- Cabaret stage
- Comfortable theater seating
- Enhanced stage with turntable
- Expanded wing space backstage
- New dressing rooms
- Two new classrooms
- State-of-the-art lights, sound and video projection
“For many years, the theater has been adequate,” says Executive Producer Steven D. Morris, “but it no longer meets our needs for today’s high-tech shows or has the capacity to take us into the future.”
The $3.3 million project – the biggest in Theatre Arlington history – was designed by LBL Architects to improve the theater’s presence in Arlington’s growing downtown and as a major partner in the Texas state-designated Arlington Cultural Arts District. RJM Construction is handling contractor and construction duties. All of the remodeling is indoors, so there shouldn’t be any weather delays. Construction is slated for completion by December.
Next year brings another exciting change to Theatre Arlington when it becomes a Small Professional Theater with Actors’ Equity Association. That designation brings with it elevated production values and more opportunities to hire professional artists on stage and behind the scenes. It also allows Theatre Arlington to help actors and stage managers earn their professional AEA cards as they pursue careers in theater.
The theater recently announced its 2022 season to show off its new bells and whistles and enhanced patron experience. The season opens with the musical, “Sister Act,” followed by August Wilson’s play, “The Piano Lesson.” Spring includes the youth production, “Golde & the Three Bears,” and the musical, “Cabaret.” For the summer, the theater offers “Black Comedy” and Neil Simon’s “Biloxi Blues,” the second in a trilogy of plays Theatre Arlington started before COVID shut its doors. The season wraps up with the thought-provoking play, “The Cake;” a second youth production, “James and the Giant Peach;” and a return of “Hooray for Holidays.”
Theatre Arlington also plans to expand its cabaret series next year and add two more entertainment options, a Comedy Club and a Play-Reading Club, where audiences can hear plays that are new works or have edgier content read by actors, then discussed.
With the new season, Morris and the theater staff have made a renewed commitment to diversity, equity and inclusivity. In addition to increased diverse casting, the theater will have one performance of each production ASL interpreted for the deaf and one performance of each youth production will be sensory sensitive, adding to the theater’s inclusivity and making Theatre Arlington the only theater in Tarrant County offering both.
“Our new season will truly have something for everyone,” Morris says. “As we approach our 50th anniversary, the renovation will help Theatre Arlington become the theater our city deserves.”
For more information on Theatre Arlington’s renovation and how you can donate to the project, please visit theatrearlington.org.