The doors to “serious fun” are open at Richmond CenterStage – the region’s new performing arts complex located in the heart of downtown Richmond. The 179,000-square foot facility, with its diverse programs, welcomes talent from around the corner and around the world that will astound and inspire audiences of all ages. With its wildly successful Grand Opening in September 2009 that showcased amazing performers from ten local groups in front of a sell-out crowd, Richmond CenterStage is off to a great start.
There’s something for everyone at CenterStage, with three performance venues, a visual arts gallery and an interactive education facility.
The cornerstone of our Grace Street performing arts complex is the fully renovated, historic Carpenter Theatre. This grand theater has nearly 1,800 comfortable, spacious seats, state-of-the-art acoustics and brilliant lighting, including new fiber optics that enhance the ceiling’s sparkling stars. As the Carpenter Theatre celebrates 81 years of bringing entertainment to Richmond, Richmond CenterStage is excited that the space has been restored for new audiences to enjoy.
Added on to the Carpenter Theatre is Dorothy Pauley Square. On the first floor, multi-purpose venue Rhythm Hall features local performing artists and an array of activities, concerts and community gatherings. Attached to Rhythm Hall is Showcase Gallery, a visual arts space where audiences can gather before or after a show. Just upstairs is Gottwald Playhouse, a 200-seat theater that provides an intimate venue for local performers and audiences to experience the arts.
The Genworth BrightLights Education Center, located on the third floor, includes classrooms, rehearsal space and a state-of-the-art digital center where students K-12 from Richmond and the surrounding counties can learn all aspects of the arts – from playwriting and performing to stage design and video editing – and use the arts to enhance their learning of core subjects. While much of the learning will go on in the education center, as the program grows the BrightLights Education Initiative will extend into schools, libraries, community centers and homes via our Digital Arts Learning Center.
Pictures and words cannot do it justice, so come see for yourself and experience all that CenterStage has to offer!