The Alliance Theatre is inching closer to a new home while looking to take its productions around the city as it plans for a pivotal 2017-18 season.
Construction will begin on a new Alliance Theatre in the summer of 2017, its first major renovation since joining the Woodruff Arts Center in 1968. Because performing at the Woodruff will be impossible then, the 2017-18 season will take place at 12 venues around the city. Possibilities include the Conant Center for the Performing Arts at Oglethorpe University (formerly the home of Georgia Shakespeare), the Estate event space, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, the Ferst Center at Georgia Tech and the Southwest Arts Center, among others.
The season is being called a “movable feast.”
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to take the Alliance to Atlanta in a real, palpable and wildly inclusive fashion,” says artistic director Susan V. Booth.
The company plans to open the new space in time for its 50th anniversary season in the fall of 2018.
The New York City studio of Trahan Architects is designing the reimagined Alliance, expected to cost just under $22 million. Lead architects Victor F. “Trey” Trahan and Leigh Breslau have collaborated on projects at the Louisiana State Museum, Dallas City Performance Hall, the Chicago Symphony Center and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, renovated in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
The new Alliance is expected to have world-class acoustics, comfortable seating that gets the audience closer to the stage (long an issue in the current mainstage space), more dressing and green room spaces for actors and artists, and two new spaces for rehearsals, education classes, and cast and donor events.
The Alliance mainstage has 770 seats, but the company did not have details on how many the new space will hold. The flexible 200-seat Hertz Theatre will remain but likely won’t be usable until renovations are complete.
The costume shop will move from the basement to a fourth-floor location in the Memorial Arts Building to take advantage of exisiting skylights.