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Theater group to set up stage on Glendale's own Broadway

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

“I don’t anticipate there being a dark night once we get going,” he said.

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