I've got another puzzle for you theater lovers out there...
Background first: I was at the gorgeous Cameron Hall (?) at Steward School on a recent Saturday to see my first CYT production ever. It was "Oliver" and quite well done but I kept thinking, "Wow! this theater is so fantastic. It is totally of a caliber that surpasses the professional theater venues available in town. Where do these kids go from here?"
How awful to have a gorgeous well built set, lovely expensive costumes, a beautiful, clean venue, wonderful lighting and sound capabilities, an on site scene shop, a big stage with ample fly space- imagine FLY SPACE in a Richmond theater - and then to go into local Professional theater and not have that. It seems like such a let down.
Yes there is the Empire which is lovely and has fly space and I do not know if you guys have the sound and lighting technology that Steward has or not. But the big acts in town (Swift Creek, Barksdale Willow Lawn, Barksdale Hanover, Firehouse, Triangle) have these tiny claustrophobic spaces. I was shocked and amazed when I went up on stage after "Urinetown" and saw the itty bitty space the actors had to dance on .
It just seems like a let down for these young actors in training to perform in these really nice spaces like the Oates Theater (which I have never acted on even though I went to Collegiate and dated Tony Oates- I guess Dr. Oates donated the money for the theater after being inspired by our fantastic performances on the cafeteria stage - and yes, I am bitter) and Cameron Hall (if I've got that right) at Steward and then offered the chance to perform professionally on these not as wonderful spaces.