by JULIO MARTINEZ
[dropcap]Antaeus[/dropcap] Theatre Company lost out on the opportunity to garner a permanent home space in NoHo back in 2011, but it certainly has landed back on its feet — 7,600 square feet, in fact. Today, Antaeus breaks ground for a new cultural arts center in Glendale — designed by architect John Sergio Fisher — that will house an 80-seat theater and a 40-seat black box, as well as a lobby gallery and a classics library. The City of Glendale has approved plans to transform a retail building at 110 E. Broadway, located in Glendale’s Art and Entertainment District, across from The Americana at Brand, an upscale shopping and residential community.
What the new space won’t house is a 100 seat-plus space that would mandate Antaeus moving up to an Actors Equity Association (AEA) production contract. Antaeus co-artistic director Bill Brochtrup explained why this would not be financially feasible.
“We only have 49 seats in the theater we are in now. We are going to be nearly doubling that capacity in the new space. To try to triple or quadruple that by going to a 150 or 200-seat theater… we don’t have the (audience) base for that, yet.”
Brochtrup also brought up a few logistical concerns. “One of the main reasons we are moving is because we have so much programming going on in the 49-seat theater we are in right now — an academy, workshops, nightly readings, our mainstage productions — we are bursting at the seams with activities. In our new space, there will be room for a classroom/rehearsal space, which is what the blackbox will be primarily used as. That way, we can keep our productions going primarily in the 80-plus-seat theater. Along with our classics library, that is all that will fit. If we built just one bigger theater, we would be in the same situation we are in now.”
A capital campaign (“Play On!”) has been launched to raise the $1 million still needed for the renovation, which is expected to take over a year. In the interim, Antaeus continues to produce at its 49-seat theater at 5112 Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood, the former home of Deaf West Theatre. Antaeus’s upcoming schedule includes William Inge’s Picnic (June 25-Aug 16) and Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekov, opening Oct. 15. Anteaus’s annual summer ClassicsFest readings will be held July 5-27.