Olympia Little Theatre is back in show business after four months of renovations and updates.
The theater is hosting a party Saturday to celebrate the changes, which include a new heating and air-conditioning system, a new lighting system and a higher ceiling to make room for all of that, as well as for taller sets.
So how does it look?
Not much different, said Toni Holm, president of the theaters board.
These are the kinds of improvements you dont see but that hopefully the audience will feel, she said. They are practical rather than cosmetic, but they will be result in our being able to do more things aesthetically.
Well be able to do more complicated sets and I hope well be able to do two-story sets.
The higher ceiling has exposed trusses up to the roofline, but even that change isnt dramatic because everything was painted black.
Previously, the space tended to be either too hot or too cold, so artistic manager Kathryn Beall enjoyed her first opportunity to punch the button on the new heating systems thermostat.
The place heated up to a comfortable living temperature with very little noise, she said. That was exciting and fun.
On Monday, there were still a lot of last-minute details to attend to including the new digital light board, because the first one the company ordered proved insufficient.
We asked a question about what I considered to be a very basic feature of a light board that our old light board did, and it didnt do it, Beall said. I wish I had about two more weeks to play with the system before we open.
A new board was due to arrive Thursday, leaving the all-volunteer theater company just a few days to learn to use the new system before Saturdays gala and just more than a week to get things up and running for the theaters next show, Premiere, opening April 12.
Premiere has been rehearsing elsewhere, coming to the theater just last week.
We liked the title, Holm said. Thats one reason its in the reopening slot. (Similarly, the last show before the theater closed for remodeling was Night Must Fall.)
Despite the delays, Holm and Beall are hoping to show off the capabilities of the new lighting system on Saturday night.
Partygoers also will be treated to scenes from Premiere, about a comedy writer who tries his hand at Shakespeare-style tragedy with unexpected results.
Along with a silent auction, food and beverages, the gala will offer music by the Thomas Miller Ceilidh Band and appearances by memorable characters from productions past.
Ill be really interested to see how people feel about the space, Holm said.
Beall, for one, feels at home there already.
Ive almost forgotten what the old space looked like, which is weird because Ive been here for 16 years, she said.