Firehouse Theatre, Richmond, Virginia, USA
Firehouse Theatre is the former station house
#10 of the Richmond Fire Department. The Firehouse Theatre Project
was founded in April 1994, with the core mission of converting a
turn-of-the-century firehouse into a resident theater center. Fundraising
efforts proceeded, even as the company began to perform periodically
in the raw space. The company strives to bring urban theater pieces
to those who might otherwise not be able to afford to see it.
The converted space now features a 144-seat flat
floor flexible theater with loose seating which can accommodate
any seating layout. Adjustability of the room allows for a thrust
stage, end stage, or "theater in the round" configuration.
The theater is used for dramatic and dance performances, rehearsals,
an actor training program, play readings, archival recording and
broadcast, and commercial rentals. The Firehouse also serves as
home base for the Richmond Alliance of Professional Theatres.
Theatre Project's presentation of off-Broadway and original
works, through its main stage productions and readings, has brought
to Richmond audiences a theater experience similar to the small
"black box" spaces of New York, Philadelphia, Chicago,
and other major theater cities.
Artec's package of design and planning services
included a conversion Needs
Assessment Study which identified the need for the renovation,
and confirmed that the building could contain a multi-form theater,
both audience and technical support spaces, facilities for the Firehouse
Theatre Project School of Acting, and a theater library. The study
was completed in 1995.