This February, the Salem Theatre Company (STC) will at long last move into its own facility, a new venue for theater, music, and more, right in the heart of downtown Salem.
The theater, located at 90 Lafayette Street, will be a professional performance space with a 60-seat house, modular 180-square-foot stage, green-room and backstage space, a lobby, and a box office.
Community leaders welcome the new facility as a key catalyst for Salem’s growth as a cultural hub and a source of positive future economic impact for downtown businesses.
"The City is thrilled the Salem Theatre Company has found a permanent home in downtown," stated Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll. "Having an active and exceptional theater, like STC, in our downtown will only add to its vibrancy and success."
"This is tremendously exciting news for the Salem Theatre Company and yet another component of a vibrant and thriving downtown Salem,” said State Representative John Keenan of Salem, who chairs the legislature’s Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development. “Having a permanent home will enable them to focus on productions and enhance partnerships in the community. It is also great news for our fabulous selection of restaurants, as most folks couple dining with a show.”
“This is great news for the Salem Theatre Company and for Salem,” said Salem Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rinus Oosthoek. “With the track record of the STC, it's great that they now also will have a home in the downtown. It's been a long time coming, and I am sure the larger Salem community - residents, artists, and businesses alike - will be very welcoming to them.”
Entering its ninth year in January, the STC has long dreamed of staging performances in a space of its own. "Now we will be able to begin our educational programming, offer a speaker and artist series, and host musical performances and staged readings nearly every weekend of the year,” said STC Executive Director Gary LaParl. “Most importantly, it allows us to focus more intensely on presenting the quality theater for which the STC is known.”
STC was compelled to make this bold move upon discovering that not a single theater venue was available in Salem for our Seventh Season. “The lack of a venue of our own has been a serious obstacle to our growth,” said STC Artistic Director John Fogle.
A Theater Comes to Life!
The theater is being designed by Marblehead architect Bruce Greenwald, with input and guidance from STC Artistic Director John Fogle and sound and lighting designer Ryan Robbins of Salem.
Build-out work has already commenced at the site, with a goal of opening the theater officially to the public with Joe Orton’s black comedy Loot in February 2010. The STC also hopes to collaborate with the Salem Film Festival to bring some of the Festival’s February and March programming to the new venue. That partnership is just one of many - with the Salem Arts Association, Salem Public Schools, Rebel Shakespeare Company, and others - that the STC will make to bring the new theater to life.
How to Help – Applause and Money!
The STC Board of Directors recently began their Capital Campaign to fund the construction of the facility and endow a permanent fund to help support ongoing costs.
Those who wish to contribute may send their tax-deductible gift to:
Salem Theatre Company
P.O. Box 306
Salem MA 01970
Naming opportunities exist for major gifts; call (978) 790-8546 for more information.