Last week Charleston Stage announced an expansion into West Ashley with their West Ashley Theatre Center, with plans to open in spring of 2018. The 10,000 square foot space is located in the former CVS in the Ashley Landing Shopping Center and will contain 100-120 seats, offices for 14 educational staff members, classroom spaces, and rehearsal spaces.
The black box theater will serve as the space for after school theater programs and classes, as well as a venue for more intimate performances.
In a statement Charleston Stage founder and artistic director Julian Wiles said, “For now, we have a $500,000 renovation ahead of us as we get to begin classes and performances in the spring of 2018. We have raised more than half of the funds for the renovations of the new space, but we welcome gifts to Charleston Stage’s 40th Anniversary Fund, which are earmarked for this exciting new facility. Donations can be made and more information on the West Ashley Theatre Center can be found at CharlestonStage.com.”
For our Fall Arts issue, Wiles sat down with City Paper theater critic, Maura Hogan, to talk about the past, present, and future of Charleston Stage. He emphasized the importance of theater not just for audiences, but for a community, especially its youth. “I think for the young people who work with us,” Wiles said, “it gives them a safe place for their specialness or their own creativity to be celebrated. And it embraces so many things — from art to literature to music to dance to lights to technology.”