Both plan new facilities

WASHINGTON — Two prominent D.C. area resident theaters, the Studio Theater and Olney Theater Center for the Arts, have launched aggressive expansion programs to create new performance and administrative spaces.

The Studio Theater’s $9.5 million campaign includes the purchase of two buildings next to its current facility in the revitalized Logan Circle area of D.C. The move will allow the creation of a third theater along with new rehearsal space, costume and set design shops and a doubling of the square footage dedicated to the Studio’s Acting Conservatory.

Some $4.5 million toward the goal is already committed, including $2 million pledged from the theater’s board members. Members Jaylee and Gilbert Mead donated $1 million.

“This is an exciting and pivotal moment for the Studio Theater as well as Washington’s theater community,” says Joy Zinoman, Studio’s founding artistic and managing director. “In this time of economic uncertainty, it speaks volumes to Studio’s commitment to artists, faith in our patrons, support of our board members and the booming surrounding neighborhood that we are forging full-speed ahead.”

The Olney Theater in Olney, Md., has broken ground on a 440-seat mainstage theater, part of an $11 million campaign that will establish an endowment and create new performance and administrative facilities. More than $8 million has been received to date from county and state governments and private donors. The Hart/Howerton architectural firm has designed the new facility.

Olney’s new theater is slated to open in 2003. The current mainstage and theater lab will continue to operate following completion of the new facilities.

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