You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Signature gets gov’t assistance

New facility being constructed for January 2006

ARLINGTON, Va. — From its 120-seat space wedged into a former auto repair shop here, the 15-year-old Signature Theater has built a national reputation for its innovative productions, especially musicals. But in January 2006, Signature swaps its cramped confines for a new facility as part of an innovative partnership with Arlington County government.

Construction has begun on a four-story building in nearby Shirlington Village that will house a brand new Signature. Included will be two versatile black box theaters — a 299-seat main stage and a 99-seat second stage — as well as other necessary spaces. The building also will feature a branch of the Arlington Library with a performing arts focus.

The project was unveiled at a reception and press conference here last week. Artistic director Eric Schaeffer promised to “hold onto the garage spirit,” but said he won’t miss the comical hardships of mounting productions under 15-foot ceilings, rehearsing in the lobby, building sets off-site and numerous other restrictions.

Among other improvements will be the ability to perform weekday matinees, currently impossible because of noise from the auto body shop next door.

The $12.5 million project will be bankrolled by $5.5 million from the county government with the remainder from Signature; $3 million of that has been raised. In return for the public funding, Signature will give the county 10% of box office revenues for the next 30 years, as well as expanding its educational programs for area students.

The project team includes interior architect VOA Associates, Charles Cosler Theater Design and acoustical designer the Talaske Group.

More Legit

  • School Girls, or the African Mean

    Off Broadway Review: 'School Girls, or the African Mean Girls Play'

    ARLINGTON, Va. — From its 120-seat space wedged into a former auto repair shop here, the 15-year-old Signature Theater has built a national reputation for its innovative productions, especially musicals. But in January 2006, Signature swaps its cramped confines for a new facility as part of an innovative partnership with Arlington County government. Construction has […]

  • Escape to Margaritaville review

    Pre-Broadway Review: Jimmy Buffett Musical 'Escape to Margaritaville'

    ARLINGTON, Va. — From its 120-seat space wedged into a former auto repair shop here, the 15-year-old Signature Theater has built a national reputation for its innovative productions, especially musicals. But in January 2006, Signature swaps its cramped confines for a new facility as part of an innovative partnership with Arlington County government. Construction has […]

  • Kevin Spacey Sexual Assault

    Old Vic Theater Logs 20 Complaints About Kevin Spacey, Pledges to Improve Accountability

    ARLINGTON, Va. — From its 120-seat space wedged into a former auto repair shop here, the 15-year-old Signature Theater has built a national reputation for its innovative productions, especially musicals. But in January 2006, Signature swaps its cramped confines for a new facility as part of an innovative partnership with Arlington County government. Construction has […]

  • The Drama League Expands DirectorFest to

    The Drama League Expands DirectorFest

    ARLINGTON, Va. — From its 120-seat space wedged into a former auto repair shop here, the 15-year-old Signature Theater has built a national reputation for its innovative productions, especially musicals. But in January 2006, Signature swaps its cramped confines for a new facility as part of an innovative partnership with Arlington County government. Construction has […]

  • The Play That Goes Wrong

    'Come From Away,' 'Falsettos,' 'The Play That Goes Wrong' Join Ahmanson's Upcoming Season

    ARLINGTON, Va. — From its 120-seat space wedged into a former auto repair shop here, the 15-year-old Signature Theater has built a national reputation for its innovative productions, especially musicals. But in January 2006, Signature swaps its cramped confines for a new facility as part of an innovative partnership with Arlington County government. Construction has […]

  • Broadway sales Hello Dolly Anastasia Come

    'Come From Away,' Hit Broadway Musical, Being Made Into Feature Film

    ARLINGTON, Va. — From its 120-seat space wedged into a former auto repair shop here, the 15-year-old Signature Theater has built a national reputation for its innovative productions, especially musicals. But in January 2006, Signature swaps its cramped confines for a new facility as part of an innovative partnership with Arlington County government. Construction has […]

  • Stagecraft podcast Ayad Akhtar

    Stagecraft Podcast: Ayad Akhtar Talks 'Junk,' Pulitzers and Faith (Listen)

    ARLINGTON, Va. — From its 120-seat space wedged into a former auto repair shop here, the 15-year-old Signature Theater has built a national reputation for its innovative productions, especially musicals. But in January 2006, Signature swaps its cramped confines for a new facility as part of an innovative partnership with Arlington County government. Construction has […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content