Northwest Arkansas’s year-round professional theater company, TheaterSquared, unveiled plans last week for what it calls “a new, permanent home.” TheaterSquared (T2, for short) has been leasing space in a converted warehouse that is part of the Walton Arts Center’s Nadine Baum Studios, but in June, the Fayetteville City Council approved a 100-year lease on a property at the corner of West Avenue and Spring Street, currently a parking lot.
T2 commissioned London-based theater planning firm CharcoalBlue and New York-based Marvel Architects to design its new home. Plans include on-site workshops for scenery, props and costumes, eight guest artist apartments, three outdoor terraces and room for an open-all-day cafe. “Instead of a venue that shuts its doors after each performance, we’d rather have public spaces that are accessible all day,” Executive Director Martin Miller said.
An architectural “board-formed” concrete wraps around the building to shield performances from the roar of the nearby freight train, though there will be glass panes that allow the mainstage and rehearsal spaces to be visible from the street. Miller added the following to the company’s 2017 report.
“We are proud that, in just five years’ time, our annual budget to create professional theater and arts-in-education has grown from under $200,000 to over $1.3 million with attendance growing tenfold over the same period. We are thrilled to be able to seize this momentum and, with leadership support from the Walton Family Foundation, accelerate TheatreSquared’s emergence as a significant professional theater at the center of the country.”