Arts Performing Arts

Wortham Center Creates New Connections

Newly remodeled Diana Wortham Theatre lobby

Diana Wortham Theatre transformed from a single-stage entity into Wortham Center for the Performing Arts, a three-venue, three-stage performing arts complex, in 2019. The Center comprises the existing Diana Wortham Theatre, the new Tina McGuire Theatre and the new Henry LaBrun Studio.

“Seeing the new spaces in use is pretty amazing,” says Wortham Center managing director Rae Geoffrey. “At any given time, we may have patrons, students and artists in all three spaces, performing, taking classes, engaging in a discussion and then coming together in the new lobby to relax and enjoy the new Café.”

Henry LaBrun Studio. Photo by Nick King Photography

The expansion allowed Wortham Center to host its first Artist-in-Residence, Shana Tucker during the 2019-2020 season. Tucker’s contributions to the community included a professional business development workshop for performing artists, a hike-out acoustic performance and an interactive performance and examination of concert lighting design and visual aesthetics.

The local nonprofit theatre company Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective also began a residency in September 2019 at the Tina McGuire Theatre. Since its inception in 2010, Different Strokes! primarily produced performances at The BeBe Theatre, but in recent years, the company’s popularity prompted its need for a larger space. “We are excited to engage with new audiences and to continue the dialogue surrounding our urgent need to embrace, understand and fully accept one another,” says Stephanie Hickling Beckman, managing artistic director at Different Strokes!.

Other special events held at Wortham Center during the 2019-2020 season include a celebration of the holiday Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in collaboration with Hola Community Arts; a Valentine’s Day pre-show V.I.P. tablao performance by Flamenco Vivo dancers, featuring drinks and hors d’oeuvres; and Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana’s public master class.

Diana Wortham Theatre, Tina McGuire Theatre and Henry LaBrun Studio are available to rent for community events from music and theater to workshops and conferences. The venues come performance-ready, equipped with professional lighting, seating and sound infrastructure, along with full use of the Wortham Center box office. Smaller than the Diana Wortham Theatre but larger than comparable local stages, the newest two spaces are available at an attainable price, with special discounted rates available to nonprofit organizations.

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