by Phil Marcus Esser
If you build it, they will come.
When the Boulder City Arts Council surveyed residents and visitors last fall, the responses pointed toward one ingredient that could greatly improve our cultural capabilities. It was no surprise to many of us.
The one ingredient providing the most opportunity for the creative energies residing here would be a venue - a dedicated environment housing artistic exhibits. A multipurpose building that can be configured to present visual arts, media arts, performances, concerts, readings, workshops, classes, film festivals, dramas, musicals, opera, dance, poetry, solo recitals, symphonies, cabaret, lectures, national touring shows, regional theatre, children’s theatre, and what else?
I have produced performances in hundreds of spaces that were set aside to present shows. Some were small “hole-in-the-wall” size and some were so huge my sound and lighting costs were over six figures for one performance.
Many were performing arts centers costing well over the price of a new golf course. Often the best venues were cleverly retrofitted spaces turning a building into a theatre for performance activities while spilling over into surrounding spaces as it grew.
Ya gotta have space! The amount of space dedicated to performance, administration, storage, set building, costume and dressing rooms, rehearsals, sound and lighting, and physical plant becomes an invitation to those who would use it. And come they will.
How about this for an opening season? Equus, The Red Mountain Chorus, Love Letter On A Fish, and You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown (performed by a newly formed children’s theatre troupe).