Theatre to develop plans for major expansion
ARROW ROCK – The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded $75,000 to the Arrow Rock Lyceum for planning and design of a major expansion of the theatre.
Because the main stage is in use throughout the season, rehearsals are currently held in the Stolberg-Jackson Community Center, commonly known as the Old School House. This space is far from adequate as rehearsals often require simultaneous efforts in multiple rooms—an option that doesn’t exist in the Old School House. This arrangement also makes the Community Center unavailable for use by the public for nearly half of the year.
The theatre is exploring the addition of a new rehearsal hall with multiple studios to allow for simultaneous staging of scenes, choreographing dance numbers and working on music. One of the rooms would serve as a second smaller “black box” performance venue that will accommodate more challenging plays, performances for young audiences, live music, and outside community events. Because the village of Arrow Rock is a National Historic Landmark, it is imperative that the aesthetics of the design fit with the character of the town as well as meeting the functional needs of the theatre.
The NEA’s Our Town grant program is designed to support “creative placemaking projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places – achieving these community goals through strategies that incorporate arts, culture, and/or design.” This was one of only 89 “Our Town” grants awarded by the NEA nationwide out of 274 eligible applications.
“The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations such as the Lyceum Theatre, to cultivate vitality in their communities through the arts.”
Specifically, the grant will support a community-wide planning charrette as well as architectural design services. The Town of Arrow Rock is a primary partner on the project, which is also supported by the Friends of Arrow Rock, the local historic preservation organization.
“It is a great honor to be recognized by the NEA with this very helpful award,” said the theatre’s Producing Artistic Director Quin Gresham. “It now makes it possible for the Lyceum to take its first steps toward an even more exciting future.”
For more than half a century, the Lyceum has delighted audiences by making professional theatre accessible in an area where it otherwise would not exist. The Lyceum has been entertaining audiences in the heart of Missouri for over 50 years producing a variety of musicals, dramas and comedies. More than 30,000 patrons from all over Missouri and beyond attend Lyceum shows annually enjoy the only professional theatre between Kansas City and St. Louis. The 2017 season is just underway with Disney Beauty and the Beast currently on stage, to be followed by Oklahoma! and Mama Mia!
For more information about the Lyceum Theatre or to provide input about the expansion project, visit www.LyceumTheatre.org. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.