The coolest thing about the Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre is that the stage can be wherever the hell you damn well want it to be.
After the opening of Peter and the Starcatcher, designer Ted Roberts very kindly gave me and my friend Don a tour of the new facilities that the Arts Club and Bard on the Beach are sharing at 162 West 1st.
The space includes a 250-seat black-box, theatre, admin offices for both companies, and rehearsal rooms that are available for rental.
The main rehearsal rooms are vast. The admin offices are chic. And two elements are knockouts: the lighting grid—which is really more of a lighting gallery—and the floor of the performance space.
The lighting gallery has a mesh floor, so designers and technicians can walk to all of the positions on the grid to hang their instruments, which then shine through the wire mesh floor (without casting mesh-shaped shadows). All of the instruments are LED, which means that infinite colours are available.
This is hugely different from having to climb up a ladder to change a gel.
And the floor of the performance space: amazing. The floor is made up of a bunch of panels, each about 3′ X 6′.
And get this: each of those panels can be individually raised. So, within the large space, you can create a stage—or stages—wherever you want.
The seating is flexible. Some of it is on hydraulics. A bunch more can be folded away.
Fantastic. Such a great new resource in town.
Thanks so much for the tour, Ted.