News Column

Navasota Theatre Alliance reveals plans for new theater

June 8, 2014

By Robert C. Borden, The Eagle, Bryan, Texas

June 08--NAVASOTA -- It is about to be a longtime blue moon in Navasota as the Navasota Theatre Alliance announced plans for a modern new theater a block away from its home of more than 40 years.

The larger theater will cost about $1.5 million, plus the cost of the land, for which the theater company already has secured a loan. The Theater Alliance plans to close on the empty lot diagonally across from Navasota's new city hall. The design of the new theater will carry echoes of its railroad past as well as complement the design of the city hall.

The announcement of the new theater was made at a Saturday luncheon by Theatre Alliance board president Steve Haley and Artistic Director Earlene Rainey. Also on hand was architect Sam Adam of Boerne, who is refining the design of the project.

The theater company soon will begin a fundraising effort that it expects to conclude by its Blue Moon Gala the last Saturday in July 2015. Haley said he expects "no impediment" to raising the funds in the city of Navasota and the surrounding area.

The theater will contain about 10,000 square feet on the first floor and some 5,000 square feet upstairs. There will be an elevator connecting the floors. The elevator in the current Sunny Furman Theatre hasn't worked in years and is used as a women's dressing room.

The new facility will have two theaters, a larger one constructed in the traverse style of the current theater, with the audiences on two sides of the stage. It will have seating for about 150 patrons, about a third more than the Furman stage accommodates.

"We want to keep the intimacy of the current stage, allowing the audience to interact with the actors on stage," Rainey said.

The larger stage will rise some 35 feet above the floor, allowing scenery pieces to be dropped in as needed, something lacking now.

The second area will be a black box theater for smaller productions. It will double as a setting for Navasota Theatre Alliance's popular dinner theater events. The new facility will include a full kitchen as well as storage and work areas.

The architect, noting that the Furman Theatre only has two toilets, said the new one will have "600 percent more," a statement which brought applause from the audience.

Rainey praised the current theater, but said, "We flat have outgrown this facility." She said she wants the facility to be able to serve the Theatre Alliance and the community for generations to come.


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Source: Eagle (Bryan, TX)

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