CELEBRATING THE LAST 30 YEARS IN
ANTICIPATION OF THE NEXT 30 YEARS
A HISTORY OF METROSTAGE
MetroStage is a professional not-for-profit theatre company dedicated to producing an eclectic season of contemporary plays and musicals that are chosen to enrich, enlighten and entertain, and that reflect the diverse population of the Washington metropolitan area. MetroStage presents original, challenging, and innovative work: work that is unpredictable and nontraditional, work that tells a compelling story and showcases remarkable talent.
The 130-seat theatre presents opportunities for both the actors and the audience to experience theatre in an intimate, communal setting. MetroStage also works with playwrights and composers and is recognized for its role in the development of new plays and musicals for the stage.
Founded in 1984 as American Showcase Theatre Company, Inc., MetroStage is the oldest professional theatre in Northern Virginia. From its inception until 1996, MetroStage operated out of a series of converted storefronts on Duke Street, until redevelopment in the area required their demolition. MetroStage re-opened in its new theatre at 1201 North Royal Street in north Old Town Alexandria in July 2001. The theatre’s opening came about through Producing Artistic Director Carolyn Griffin’s commitment to finding a new home for the theatre, which required a major $450,000 fund raising effort. Today, MetroStage is once again a significant member of the Washington theatre community, drawing its audiences from the Washington metropolitan area and beyond.
MetroStage’s new theatre is a converted lumber warehouse, the former home of Alexandria’s Smoot Lumber Company. Board member and architect Skip Maginniss converted the 35-year-old, 4000 square foot building into a modern, 130-seat theatre with a stunning glass entrance and a floating staircase leading to theatre offices. The 30-foot high warehouse offers an interior volume that lends an expansive, dramatic feel to the space. Yet to maintain the intimate theatre environment for which MetroStage has become recognized, seats on risers wrapping around a “thrust” stage keep the audience in close proximity to the actors. The location offers on-site and street parking and is convenient to many local restaurants and shops for before- or after-theatre enjoyment.
MetroStage’s new location has added a feeling of stability to the theatre, and expands the realm of possibilities for the company. Since the 2001 opening of the new facility, MetroStage has produced a season of five plays. The unique theatre space provides an added artistic challenge for set designers, and tables and chairs in the front row contribute to an intimate “cabaret” feeling for certain musicals. The expanded 130-seat facility has put MetroStage back on the theatre map in Washington with its season of plays and musicals, in addition to its FirstStage series of staged readings, and the Cabaret series that it began five years ago.
MetroStage attracts playwrights, directors, designers, and actors from across the country, and continues to showcase the best of contemporary theatre with its productions.
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MetroStage is funded in part by the Virginia Commision for the Arts, the National Endowment of the Arts, and the Alexandria Commission for the Arts.
METROSTAGE - 1201 NORTH ROYAL STREET - ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA - 22314 - (703) 548-9044 - INFO@METROSTAGE.ORG