Stages St. Louis has announced the groundbreaking of its new home, the Kirkwood Performing Arts Center, located in Downtown Kirkwood, Mo. A groundbreaking ceremony will be hosted by the City of Kirkwood for the new Performing Arts Center on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 4 p.m. The center will be located at the corner of South Taylor Avenue and Monroe Avenue in downtown Kirkwood.
Stages St. Louis enthusiastically awaits opening its 2020 Season as the first tenant to occupy the new Performing Arts Center. Additional tenants of the facility include the Kirkwood Theatre Guild and the Kirkwood Youth Theatre program (run by the City of Kirkwood). Of the move, STAGES’ Executive Producer Jack Lane states:
“The move to the new Kirkwood Performing Arts Center will help secure a bright and exciting future for STAGES, our incredibly loyal patrons and audience members, and the City of Kirkwood. We look forward to becoming an integral member of the vibrant Downtown Kirkwood community while continuing to serve as an artistic leader for the St. Louis region and beyond.”
The new facility, projected to open in late spring of 2020, will house a 525-seat state of the art mainstage theatre. In addition to an increase in number of seats, the Performing Arts Center will offer mezzanine level seating, a 2,000 square foot event space, upper and lower lobbies connected by a grand staircase, and a 3,000 square foot black box theatre/event space.
“The increase in theatre size is something that we are really looking forward to” Lane said. “Stages productions tend to sell out often and quickly, so more seats for us does not just mean an increase in our annual ticket revenue. It means that more people will have the opportunity to experience the magic of a Stages production.”
Hoping to create a new home for theatre in downtown Kirkwood, Staes will continue cultivating the performing arts talent pool both in the St. Louis region and nationally. Additionally, Stages is eager to drive people to the many businesses and restaurants that will be the neighbors of the facility and become a vital part of the Downtown Kirkwood community.
Initial discussions with project partners and citizens, along with planning for the construction of the $25 million Performing Arts Center have been in progress for approximately two years and construction is expected to begin immediately. Renderings will be available at the groundbreaking for viewing by the public and media.
Lynn Venhaus has had a continuous byline in St. Louis metro region publications since 1978. She is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic, currently reviews films for Webster-Kirkwood Times and KTRS Radio, covers entertainment for PopLifeSTL.com and co-hosts podcast PopLifeSTL.com…Presents, and writes features and news for Belleville News-Democrat and contributes to other publications. She is a member of CCA, AWFJ and St. Louis Film Critics Association. She is a founding member of the St. Louis Theater Circle.