A 7,600-square-foot former computer store in downtown Glendale will be renovated and transformed into a theater venue for classic productions, which could begin as early as September 2016.
North Hollywood-based Antaeus Theatre Co. has announced plans to move to 110 E. Broadway, where it will upgrade from a 50-seat theater to an 80-seat venue, said co-artistic director Bill Brochtrup.
There will also be a smaller 40-seat black-box theater, a classics library and room to run arts-education programs, he said.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the new theater was held on Thursday.
Bringing some theatrical standard plays and lesser known works to Glendale will be the end product, Brochtrup said.
“We do classical theater, a broad stroke of what’s been a mixture of Shakespeare and Chekhov … as well as hidden gems that are by writers that aren’t as well known,” he said.
There’s a combination of reasons why the decision was made to move to Glendale, including the upcoming opening of the Museum of Neon Art, the 70-unit Arts Colony, which is an affordable housing project for artists, and the proximity to the legendary Alex Theatre.
“We felt that this was a great fit for us,” he said.
The Alex Theatre is a larger venue capable of presenting more elaborate productions. But that doesn’t mean it would keeping live theater-goers away from the Antaeus.
“When you’re creating a vibrant downtown, there’s a lot of elements to it — shopping, restaurants, but also culture, and Antaeus has a superb reputation for doing great small theater, and we think they’ll be in concert, not competition, with the shows at the Alex,” said Tim Gallagher, a spokesman for the Downtown Glendale Assn.
The renovation is expected to last roughly a year, with production rehearsals following.
In addition to plays, Brochtrup said, Antaeus will also be hosting free play readings throughout the year.